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Milky Way Galaxy black hole, Sagittarius A*: First image unveiled

Hugo9000

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Today, at simultaneous press conferences around the world, including at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) headquarters in Germany, astronomers have unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the centre of most galaxies. The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes.
eso2208-eht-mwa.jpg

The image is a long-anticipated look at the massive object that sits at the very centre of our galaxy. Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around something invisible, compact, and very massive at the centre of the Milky Way. This strongly suggested that this object — known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, pronounced "sadge-ay-star") — is a black hole, and today’s image provides the first direct visual evidence of it.
Although we cannot see the black hole itself, because it is completely dark, glowing gas around it reveals a telltale signature: a dark central region (called a shadow) surrounded by a bright ring-like structure. The new view captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole, which is four million times more massive than our Sun.


See the article linked below for more:
The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Focus on First Sgr A* Results from the Event Horizon Telescope
Geoffrey C. Bower (Project Scientist) for the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration


The Astrophysical Journal Letters is an open access express scientific journal that allows astrophysicists to rapidly publish short notices of significant original research. ApJL articles are timely, high-impact, and broadly understandable.

All articles linked below have downloadable pdf and epub files.

First Sagittarius A* Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole in the Center of the Milky Way:

First Sagittarius A* Event Horizon Telescope Results. II. EHT and Multiwavelength Observations, Data Processing, and Calibration:

First Sagittarius A* Event Horizon Telescope Results. III. Imaging of the Galactic Center Supermassive Black Hole:

First Sagittarius A* Event Horizon Telescope Results. IV. Variability, Morphology, and Black Hole Mass:

First Sagittarius A* Event Horizon Telescope Results. V. Testing Astrophysical Models of the Galactic Center Black Hole:

First Sagittarius A* Event Horizon Telescope Results. VI. Testing the Black Hole Metric:
 
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JSmith

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Amazing and extremely interesting work... I've been following this event.
"Getting to the image wasn't an easy journey," said Özel, who has been a member of the EHT Science Council since its inception and who has led the modeling and analysis group. It took a globe-spanning collaboration, several years, petabytes of data and more involved algorithms than had been dedicated to most scientific endeavors before, to analyze and confirm the final image of Sgr A*.


JSmith
 
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