Black Hole Event Horizon from faraway M87 galaxy photographed in a historic first

The image took supercomputers, 8 telescopes around the world, 200+ researchers & Petabytes of data.


Scientists revealed, in a historic first for black hole physics on Wednesday, the first image ever captured of a black hole's hot, shadowy edges where light bends around itself.

For the first time ever, people are witness to an actual photograph of a supermassive black hole 58 million light-years away in the Messier 87 galaxy, one of the most massive in our local Universe.

The achievement, made possible by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, has utilised multiple supercomputers, eight massive telescopes stationed scattered across different parts of the world, 200+ researchers and Petabytes of data to achieve.

 Black Hole Event Horizon from faraway M87 galaxy photographed in a historic first

The first ever image of a black hole, from the M87 galaxy located in the Virgo constellation in the Milky Way. Image: EHT/NSF

The photograph and a few other observations from the EHT project were announced today at a joint press conference streamed live on multiple YouTube pages, including the National Science Foundation's.

Apart from the picture making the rounds in schools, colleges, and social media, results of the study have done a lot of amazing things for science. To begin with, it helped to confirm Einstein’s theory of general relativity (yet again) and gave astrophysicists the first and closest look yet at the enigmatic, chaotic phenomenon of black holes.

Also check out: Everything you need to know about the first ever photo of a black hole

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. This still isn't something the researchers have shared their results on. While Sagittarius A* is far closer in distance than the M87 galaxy black hole that was imaged, there are some "cosmic coincidences" that made the photograph possible.

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