The First Ever Black Hole Image Has Been Released And It's Beyond Spectacular

The First Ever Black Hole Image Has Been Released And It's Beyond Spectacular

Astronomers have just released an image of a black hole captured by a network of eight radio telescopes around the world.

In a historic breakthrough, astronomers have captured what is being called the first-ever image of a black hole, one of the world's most enigmatic objects, reported The Guardian. The announcement was made by researchers at the National Science Foundation on Wednesday morning (April 10). The picture, that was recorded by a global network of state-of-the-art telescopes, called Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (EHT), spread across locations from Antarctica to Spain and Chile and involving more than 200 scientists, marks a major milestone in astrophysics. From the picture, the black hole that is said to be 6.5 billion times more massive than the sun itself, seems like a ring of fire, that is situated at the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy, located in the Virgo cluster, and some 55 million light years from the Earth.


The black hole measures 40 billion km across, that is about three million times the size of the Earth.  Scientists have described the latest celestial discovery "a monster". Details have been published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, reported BBC. Speaking to BBC News, Prof Heino Falcke, Radboud University, Netherlands, who also happened to propose the experiment, said, "What we see is larger than the size of our entire Solar System. It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe."


The professor described that the bright halo as seen in the picture is caused by "superheated gas falling into the hole. The light is brighter than all the billions of other stars in the galaxy combined which is why it can be seen at such distance from Earth." In another victory for the efforts put in by experts, the image apparently is similar to what theoretical physicists and even the way Hollywood directors had imagined black holes would look like, said Dr. Ziri Younsi,  University College London, one of the experts who played a prominent role in this collaboration. He said, "Although they are relatively simple objects, black holes raise some of the most complex questions about the nature of space and time, and ultimately of our existence. It is remarkable that the image we observe is so similar to that which we obtain from our theoretical calculations. So far, it looks like Einstein is correct once again."


What is a black hole?

NASA explains black hole as: "A black hole is a region in space where the pulling force of gravity is so strong that even light is not able to escape. The strong gravity occurs because matter has been pressed into a tiny space. This compression can take place at the end of a star's life. Some black holes are a result of dying stars. Because no light can escape, black holes are invisible. However, space telescopes with special instruments can help find black holes. They can observe the behavior of material and stars that are very close to black holes." Researchers are positive that this first image will enable them to learn more about these mysterious objects and beyond. 


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