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New Supermassive Black Hole Image Explained! A Stunning First Look at Sagittarius A*

Located about 26,000 light-years away, Sagittarius A* is the supermassive black hole at the very heart of the Milky Way galaxy. Until now, this elusive object has never been seen before.

This is the first-ever direct visual evidence of the enormous black hole, which is four million times more massive than our Sun. To create the image, the team used the powerful Event horizon telescope or EHT, which linked together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope.

Although we cannot see the black hole itself, glowing gas around it reveals a dark central region, called a “shadow”, surrounded by a bright ring-like structure.

Soon, the new James Webb space telescope will also turn its eye on Sgr A*. The $10 billion observatory won’t have the resolution to directly image the black hole, however, but it will bring new capability to the study of the environment around it with its incredibly sensitive infrared instruments.

This extraordinary image is the first-ever look at the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. An object that has fascinated astronomers for so long, can now be seen in all its colossal glory.

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