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Astronomers unveil portrait of Milky Way’s black hole

An image of Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way released Thursday Associated Press/Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

Astronomers unveil portrait of Milky Way’s black hole

At the center of our galaxy lies a black hole that’s 4 million times more massive than our sun. On Thursday, scientists released the first picture of Sagittarius A*, which they estimate lies about 27,000 light-years from Earth.

How did we get the picture? The colorized image comes from eight synchronized radio telescopes scattered around the globe called the Event Horizon Telescope. Though a black hole does not emit light, the photo shows a glowing disk of matter that orbits a seemingly empty spot in the center, where Sagittarius A* sits. In 2019, the international consortium that manages the global network released the first-ever image of any black hole, located in a galaxy an estimated 53 million light-years away.

Dig deeper: Read my article in Beginnings about the James Webb Space Telescope, which is giving scientists a new view into deep space.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a former assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.


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