Astronomers capture first image of Milky Way’s huge black hole

The world got a glimpse Thursday of the first wild but blurry image of the supermassive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy.

Astronomers believe that almost all galaxies, including ours, have these giant black holes at their center, from which light and matter cannot escape, making it extremely difficult to get pictures of them.

Light is bent and twisted chaotically by gravity as it is sucked into the abyss with superheated gas and dust.

This image released by Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration shows a black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. (AP)

The colorized image unveiled on Thursday comes from the international consortium behind the Event Horizon Telescope, a collection of eight synchronized radio telescopes around the world.

Previous efforts had found the black hole at the center of our galaxy too jittery to get a good picture.

Feryal Ozel of the University of Arizona called the black hole “a gentle giant at the center of our galaxy” while announcing the breakthrough.

Black holes gobble up galactic matter but Ozel said this one “eats very little”.

The Milky Way’s black hole is called Sagittarius A (asterisk), near the border of the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpius. It is 4 million times more massive than our sun.

“What could be cooler than seeing the black hole at the center of our own Milky Way,” Caltech astronomer Katherine Bouman told a news conference.

The Milky Way’s black hole is called Sagittarius A (asterisk), near the border of the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpius. It is 4 million times more massive than our sun.

This is not the first black hole image.

The same group released the first in 2019 and it was from a galaxy 53 million light years away. The Milky Way’s black hole is much closer, about 27,000 light-years away. A light year is equivalent to 9.5 trillion kilometers.

NASA’s new telescope captures ‘unprecedented’ detail

The project cost nearly $60 million, including $28 million from the US National Science Foundation.

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