Scientists from the European Southern Observatory revealed this Thursday the first image of a supermassive black hole that is located in the center of the Milky Way, our galaxy.
From the observatory’s headquarters in the German city of Garching, the international team of scientists reported that the image of Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) was taken by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a global network of radio telescopes that stretches from Europe to Antarctica in the south and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.
“This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole, and sheds valuable clues about the workings of these giants, which are thought to reside at the center of most galaxies,” the team noted.
The scientists explained that the black hole itself cannot be seen because it is completely dark, and claimed that the glowing gas surrounding it reveals a dark central region, called a shadow, surrounded by a bright ring-like structure.
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According to scientists, the image “captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole”, whose mass is four million times that of the Sun.
In 2019, the EHT science team published the first image of a black hole, called M87*, found at the center of the distant galaxy Messier 87. Sgr A* is about 27,000 light-years from Earth.
*Translated by Daniel Gallego.
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