Scientists Announce First Ever Image Of Supermassive Black Hole At Center Of Our Galaxy

EHT Collaboration/National Science Foundation/Handout via REUTERS

Kay Smythe Reporter
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The first image of a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy was released Thursday.

The global research team of the Event Horizon Telescope released the image of the supermassive black hole named Sagittarius A, according to the Associated Press (AP). It is located near the Sagittarius and Scorpius constellations and is over 4 million times bigger than our sun, the outlet continued.

The supermassive black hole is 27,000 light-years away from the earth, the AP noted. (RELATED: ‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroid To Skim Past Earth)

University of Arizona astronomer Feryal Ozel described the image as “the first direct image of the gentle giant in the center of our galaxy,” the Washington Post reported. “We find a bright ring surrounding the black hole shadow. It seems that black holes like doughnuts,” the astronomer added.

The black hole itself cannot be seen in the image as it is completely dark, but the glowing gas around it revealed the dark central region, the Event Horizon Telescope team wrote on its official website. The image shows how light bends around the massive gravity of the black hole, the team explained.

“We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity,” Event Horizon Telescope Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower said, according to the website. “These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the very center of our galaxy, and offer new insights on how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings.”