University of Amsterdam scientist Sera Markoff explained, "You're really looking at a super-massive black hole that's nearly the size of our entire solar system".
"We have achieved something presumed to be impossible just a generation ago", said astrophysicist Sheperd Doeleman, director of the Event Horizon Telescope at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian.
In the image released Wednesday, the black hole is outlined by an orange ring that is actually emission from hot gas swirling near its event horizon.
Photographing a black hole is an overwhelming task.
In the above time-lapse video from the European Southern Observatory taken over 20 years, the elliptical orbit of the star closest to Sagittarius A*, the Supermassive Black Hole (SMBH) that sits in the center of our galaxy, can been seen accelerating to a significant fraction of the speed of light at the perigee of its orbit.
To perform this, the space experts struggled with bad weather and glitchy electric frameworks. Yet with more observations like this one they are yielding their secrets. At last, they tried their discoveries against the consequences of a million recreations of what a black hole may resemble, until finally they recognized a match. In layman's terms, this could change everything about how we think about the universe. "We saw something that really had a ring to it if you can use that phrase".
"Telescopes around the world collected high-frequency radio waves from the vicinity of Messier 87, a supermassive black hole 54 million light-years away".
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Albert Einstein's relativity theories first predicted black holes more than a century ago, but even he thought they were too freakish to actually exist. If they have, the Event Horizon team is making sure that it stays quiet about it.
Despite decades of study, there are a few holdouts who deny black holes exist, and this work shows that they do, said Boston University astronomer professor Alan Marscher, a co-discoverer.
There is a myth that says a black hole would rip you apart, but Loeb and Kormendy said the one pictured is so big, someone could fall into it and not be torn to pieces.
To get an image of a faraway black hole, scientists had to get eight radio telescopes on several continents, including Antarctica, to look at the same place at the same time.
Daniel Holz, University of Chicago, said, 'Yes, I'm definitely excited to see the image!
The team takes measurements to collect data with satellite dishes. No one algorithm or person made this image, it required the incredible talent of a team of scientists from around the globe and years of hard work to develop the instrument, data processing, imaging methods, and analysis techniques that were necessary to pull off this seemingly impossible feat.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education.