Scientists release first photograph of a black hole

Scientists release first photograph of a black hole

And for the first time in history, it has shown us what a black hole around 55 million light years away looks like.

The European Southern Observatory, one of the contributors, said the technique involves combining the data from the telescopes around the world to create a "virtual giant telescope".

"This is an awesome accomplishment by the EHT team", said NASA's director of the astrophysics division Paul Hertz "Years ago, we thought we would have to build a very large space telescope to image a black hole".

The researchers said they hoped the image of M87 would help them analyze another black hole, known as the Sagittarius A, which sits at the center of the Milky Way with a mass of around 4.3 million times that of the sun and located 25,000 light years from earth.

The photo shows a bright ring of superheated gasses falling into the perfectly circular hole, which is the event horizon beyond which not even light can escape.

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It's well known that a black hole's gravity is so overpowering that even light can not escape its center.

That historic first photo of a black hole was released to the public on Wednesday after years of work on an global project called Event Horizon Telescope. "While we now have good indirect evidence that they exist, getting a direct view of a black hole is the ultimate dream for a lot of physicists". "The black hole is the Dark Souls dark sign", @GenePark tweeted, referencing the notoriously hard video game. In addition to the briefing in Washington, there will be simultaneous announcements in Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo. What we got is the image you see above. It took a team of more than 200 astronomers to pull this off, along with eight massive radio telescopes organized into the "Event Horizon Telescope" or ETH.

In a science fiction movie, a black hole might well be portrayed as the ideal jail for a recently defeated evil overlord - since not even light can break free from the natural phenomenon that real scientists say concentrates gravity in an extraordinary fashion. The image is very similar to numerous artists' drawings through the years of what scientists believed a black hole looked like. "The shape is the shadow of the black hole", said Patrick Das Gupta, professor at Delhi University's department of physics and astrophysics.

"Our observations revealed that the supermassive black hole in the galaxy M87 has a mass 6.5 billion times greater than the Sun, and that it turns clockwise". "It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe".

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