It is this point-of-no-return precipice, called the event horizon, that astronomers have tried to observe for the first time. And for the first time in history, it has shown us what a black hole around 55 million light years away looks like.
Now there may be another exciting development to look forward to: the first ever photos of a black hole.
The discovery opens up more questions for scientists to explore, including "some deep fundamental physics questions that still need to be solved", said Falcke.
National Science Foundation explains that the image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. The goal has always been to snap the first photo of a black hole, and now we have the first real result.
A breakthrough in black hole detection promises to answer a question that has dogged scientists since Albert Einstein proposed the existence of black holes in his general theory of relativity: how do you document the presence of something that's invisible?
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"Imaging a black hole is just the beginning of our effort to develop new tools that will enable us to interpret the massively complex data that nature gives us", Psaltis added.
In the image, the dark circle represents the "shadow" of the black hole and its boundary, created by the glowing material that surrounds it.
The image you see above is not an out-of-focus donut.
The supermassive black hole, known as a quasar, is growing so fast it can devour a mass the size of the sun every two days. It needs to be this big because although Sagittarius A is massive, about 4 million times as massive as our sun.
Despite its name, the Event Horizon Telescope is actually a collection of eight radio telescopes located around the world, precisely co-ordinated using highly accurate atomic clocks. If this wasn't enough to get your excitement going, Doeleman promised that there's more to come. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a black hole. Nearly every galaxy in the universe has a black hole at its center, including our Milky Way, he said.