Scientists reveal world's first image of black hole

Scientists reveal world's first image of black hole

Scientists reveal world's first image of 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.

"This is an unbelievable 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".

It's about 6.5 billion times as massive as our Sun - that's enormous even compared to other supermassive black holes and lives in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy.

In the image, the dark circle represents the "shadow" of the black hole and its boundary, created by the glowing material that surrounds it.

Black holes are monstrous celestial entities exerting gravitational fields so vicious that no matter or light can escape.

Scientists revealed the first image ever made of a black hole after assembling data gathered by a network of radio telescopes around the world.

Of course, NASA and other scientific organizations have published images created by artists that give us an impression of what a black hole would look like but none of these lovely artworks are the real deal.

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What is a black hole and why is it so hard to take an image of one?

The news conferences are expected to happen at 9 a.m. EST at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo.

A black hole's event horizon is the point of no return beyond which anything - stars, planets, gas, dust and all forms of electromagnetic radiation - gets swallowed into oblivion.

Scientists were able to verify what they were seeing after the black hole's shadow persisted over multiple independent EHT observations.

"You could have seen something that was unexpected, but we didn't see something that was unexpected".

The volume of data generated was unprecedented - in one night the EHT generated as much data as the Large Hadron Collider does in a year. The objective, then, is to visualize the black hole by contrast.

The image of the black hole was taken in a galaxy known as M87, where, for 16 years, astronomers observed stars rotating in an orbit. In 2018, an observatory in Chile was added to help create a clearer photo, after the initial results that came back were a tad foggy.

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