This is the first ever photo of a black hole

This is the first ever photo of a black hole

This is the first ever photo of a black hole

Interested parties can watch the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration release the first of its kind image of the black hole via a live stream that will share the long-awaited breakthrough with an eager public. Nope, this is actually the first-ever image of a black hole. Maybe it doesn't look spectacular at first.

By definition, black holes are invisible, because no light escapes from them.

Well, it starts with a small team of innovators. The telescopes are scattered across the world, from volcanoes in Hawaii to Atacama's desert in Chile to Antarctica and Europe. The telescopes are part of the global Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project.

This series of telescopes, combined, has about the same capabilities as a telescope as large as our entire planet. It's about 26,000 light years away, and looks like a tiny dot from Earth, despite having a mass approximately four times that of the sun.

In essence, the EHT scientists photographed the shadow of the black hole cast by the accretion disc. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exist. And here's the real image. What we got is the image you see above.

Even though a black hole itself is not visible directly, it is thought to be surrounded by dust and gas swirling around it at velocities near the speed of light, which causes the emission of radiation that is detectable. It took more than 200 researchers and eight telescopes around the world to create the picture. Yet with more observations like this one they are yielding their secrets.

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It is this point-of-no-return precipice, called the Event Horizon, that astronomers have tried to observe for the first time. A black hole does not let light escape, so it's hard to identify its existence, compared to any other empty space.

The EHT's other target, M87, is notable for shooting out a fast jet of charged subatomic particles that stretches for some 5 000 light years.

That's why the edge and everything beyond it are black.

Einstein's theory allows for a prediction of the size and shape of a black hole. And this image may be just the beginning.

The EHT project has been working on a singular mission since it was founded in 2006 - to capture images of the immediate environment of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, which is at the centre of the Milky Way. There is still data to be analyzed, and the telescopes are being upgraded to deliver clearer pictures of the Messier 87 galaxy.

So it will be more hard to image.

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