On Thursday scientists provided the first look at a black hole located in the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. The images show a supermassive stellar mass that consumes any matter within its gravitational pull, Reuters reported.
The black hole, called Sagittarius A*, or SgrA*, is only the second in history to be imaged. The feat was provided by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) international collaboration. In 2019 the collaboration unveiled the first-ever photo of a black hole residing at the heart of a different galaxy.
“Observations of stars orbiting around it revealed the presence of an object that is very massive, 4 million times the mass of our sun, but also very faint … until now, we didn't have the direct picture confirming that Sgr A* was indeed a black hole,” Feryal Özel, Professor of Astronomy and Physics at the University of Arizona said.
“Because the black hole is about 27,000 light-years (9.5 trillion km) away from Earth, it appears to us to have about the same size in the sky as a donut on the Moon. To image it, the team created the powerful EHT, which linked together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope . The EHT observed Sgr A* on multiple nights, collecting data for many hours in a row, similar to using a long exposure time on a camera,” EHT News Blog wrote.
We finally have the first look at our Milky Way black hole, Sagittarius A*. It’s the dawn of a new era of black hole physics. Credit: EHT Collaboration. #OurBlackHole #SgrABlackHole— Event Horizon 'Scope (@ehtelescope) May 12, 2022
Link: https://t.co/Ax7ECRVg8A pic.twitter.com/LRWizSYOy9