Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy - School of Science, the University of Tokyo
May 12, 2022

Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy

 

Overview of the press release

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.
 
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.

“We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einsteins Theory of General Relativity," said EHT Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academic Sinica, Taipei. "These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the very centre of our galaxy, and offer new insights on how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings." The EHT team's results are being published today in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Figure : Making of the image of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way

 

Professor Mareki Honma (the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan / Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo) and Yutaro Kofuji (Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo.) contributed to this research.

 

To read the full press release, please visit the website of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan ,and the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration.

 

Publication details


Journal  The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Title  

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 Multi-wavelength Observations, Data Processing, and Calibration

First Sgr 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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