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First Image of a Black Hole Captured

EVENT HORIZON TELESCOPE COLLABORATION


In a historic first, scientists have captured incredible images of a black hole and its shadow at the center of galaxy Messier 87, about 55 million light-years from Earth. This black hole is 6.5 billion times more massive than the sun!

What is a black hole, and why is this image so monumental? NASA explains: “A black hole is an extremely dense object from which no light can escape.

Anything that comes within a black hole’s ‘event horizon,’ its point of no return, will be consumed, never to re-emerge, because of the black hole’s unimaginably strong gravity. By its very nature, a black hole cannot be seen, but the hot disk of material that encircles it shines bright. Against a bright backdrop, such as this disk, a black hole appears to cast a shadow.”

To obtain the never-before-seen images, researchers used the Event Horizon Telescope, an alliance of eight radio telescopes around the world, effectively creating an Earth-sized telescope.