November 29, 2022

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The first image of a black hole was taken in our galaxy

The first image of a black hole was taken in our galaxy

© VIA REUTERS

For the first time, astronomers were able to take a picture of a black hole in our galaxy. This was announced by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on Thursday. Sagittarius A*, as a black hole is called, has been haunted for decades, and it took at least five years to develop the image.

On Thursday, an image of the black hole that forms the center of our galaxy was revealed at the European Southern Observatory’s headquarters near Munich. This black hole has been researched and researched for decades, and it was only recently that astronomers learned that it actually existed. If there were any doubts about this, it completely disappeared with this photo. Sagittarius A* is located in the center of our Milky Way, 27,000 light-years away.

Black holes, the existence of which was predicted by Albert Einstein, are extreme things. They are the remnants of exploding stars, or supernovas. If the core of this star is about 5 times the mass of the Sun, then the core of the star eventually collapses into a black hole.

The mass of a black hole is so compressed that nothing escapes its immense gravity, not even light, of any wavelength. Hence the name “black hole”. As a result, it is not possible to see the object itself, but only the radiation around it. The thing also ingests all the substances in the environment, causing an increase in mass and therefore an increase in gravity or gravitational pull. The black hole twists spacetime and heats the surrounding material to very high temperatures.

five years ago

An Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) was used to capture the image. A network of eight radio telescopes spans four continents – including ALMA and the summit of the European Southern Observatory ESO – and more than three hundred people, thus combined to create a super telescope with a diameter the size of our planet. By comparison, it should be possible to read a newspaper in New York from a café in Paris, according to ESO.

The radio waves that make up the image were captured during a 10-day observation campaign in April 2017. So the image shows what Sagittarius A* looked like five years ago in the constellation Sagittarius (which the name black hole refers to). The fact that it took so long to develop the image – the second image of a black hole – shows what a feat it is to photograph black holes.

Three years ago, EHT also made The first image of a black hole in our universe

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