Astronomers Reveal First-Ever Picture of Black Hole

London, Astronomers have taken the first ever image of a black hole, which is located in a distant galaxy.

It measures 40 billion km across – three million times the size of the Earth – and has been described by scientists as “a monster”.

The black hole is 500 million trillion km away and was photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the world.

Details have been published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

It was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight linked telescopes.

Prof Heino Falcke, of Radboud University in the Netherlands, who proposed the experiment, told BBC News that the black hole was found in a galaxy called M87.

“What we see is larger than the size of our entire Solar System,” he said.

“It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe.”

The image matches what theoretical physicists and indeed, Hollywood directors, imagined black holes would look like, according to Dr. Ziri Younsi, of University College London – who is part of the EHT collaboration.

“Although they are relatively simple objects, black holes raise some of the most complex questions about the nature of space and time, and ultimately of our existence,” he said.

But having the first image will enable researchers to learn more about these mysterious objects. They will be keen to look out for ways in which the black hole departs from what’s expected in physics. No-one really knows how the bright ring around the hole is created. Even more intriguing is the question of what happens when an object falls into a black hole, the BBC news reported.

Source: Oman News Agency