Located in the center of the galaxy, the first photo of the Black Hole in the Milky Way
The "soft giant" was named by astronauts the black hole which is located in the center of our galaxy. The whole world could see for the first time its image, detached from what is also known as the "Milky Way".
Astronomers believe that all galaxies, including ours, have these black holes at their center, where light and matter cannot escape, making them very difficult to photograph.
Light refracts chaotically and is twisted by gravity as it dissolves into the abyss along with overheated gas and dust. The color image released Thursday comes from the international consortium behind the Event Horizon telescope, a collection of eight synchronized radio telescopes worldwide.
Previous attempts had managed to locate the black hole in the center of our galaxy, but failed to focus on a clear image.
Feryal Ozel of the University of Arizona called the black hole "the soft giant at the center of our galaxy" as it published the image. Black holes swallow galactic material, but Ozel said this is "eating too little."
The Black Hole in the Milky Way is called Sagittarius A (asterisk), near the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpio. "It is 4 million times larger than our sun," said astronomer Katherine Bouman at a news conference.
The same group of astronomers also published in 2019 one from a galaxy 53 million light-years away. The black hole in the Milky Way is many times closer, about 27,000 light-years away. A light year is 9.5 trillion kilometers.
The cost of this project is approximately $ 60 million, of which $ 28 million was funded by the U.S. Science Foundation.