Astronomers have revealed the first image of a monster black hole, which is six billion times the mass of the sun.
Using data collected from eight radio telescopes across the world, a team of 200 scientists were able to create an image around the supermassive black hole.
The supermassive black hole which was photographed by astronomers resembled a flaming orange, yellow and black ring.
Sheperd Doeleman of Harvard said: ‘We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have seen and taken a picture of a black hole. Here it is.’
Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun pic.twitter.com/AymXilKhKe
— Event Horizon 'Scope (@ehtelescope) April 10, 2019
The team looked at two supermassive black holes, the M87, and the one at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy.
The first picture is of the M87 black hole, about 53 million light years from earth.
One light year is around 5.9 trillion miles, or 9.5 trillion kilometers. This black hole is about six billion times the mass of our sun.
The Event Horizon Telescope project was launched in April 2017, but the hundreds of terabytes collected took scientists years to process.
‘We’ve been hunting this for a long time,’ Dempsey said. ‘We’ve been getting closer and closer with better technology.’
We are proud to be part of this revolutionary discovery.
The #RealBlackHole image is the result of the large scale collaboration Event Horizon Telescope, where EU-funded researchers have played a key role. #EUResearch #EHTBlackHole
Read more here → https://t.co/p57pVlU0nr pic.twitter.com/yQstgrItlo
— European Commission ?? (@EU_Commission) April 10, 2019
What are black holes?
Black holes are regions where matter has been crushed by gravity to an infinitely small space where the normal laws of physics no longer apply.
While nothing can escape the gravitational vortex of a black hole – not even light – gas and radiation rage in a swirling eddy around the brink of the abyss.
It is this point-of-no-return precipice, called the Event Horizon, that astronomers managed to capture of photograph of for the first time.
Unlike smaller black holes that come from collapsed stars, supermassive black holes are mysterious in origin.