What does a black hole look like? We're about to find out

A NASA artist's concept illustration shows a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of our sun

Scientists released the first-ever image made of a black hole, revealing a fiery doughnut-shaped object in a galaxy 53 million light-years from Earth, on Wednesday, April 10.

There actually were a few academic holdouts who denied black holes existed, but now they can't, said Boston University astronomer Alan Marscher, who was on one of four imaging teams.

The shadow of the black hole is in the center of the image.

"What we are seeing is the light that is bent by the strong gravity of the black hole", says Bower. No matter has a chance to ever escape the black hole and return to the universe. The image was produced by a network of telescopes around the world, including two on Hawaiʻi's own Mauna Kea.

The photo is believed to help confirm the theory of general relativity first posited by Albert Einstein a century ago. In the image - which appears amid the Google Doodle - the M87 black hole's shadow is framed against a surrounding cloud of superheated dust and gas. That makes it extremely hard to spot a black hole, rendered invisible even with the presence of bright charged particles, nearby stars and glowing bulks of dust and gaseous material.

While the image may not be that over-the-top interesting at first glance, we should appreciate exactly what we are looking at.

The spinning ring's bottom is brighter than its top because "that's where material is coming towards us", moving close to the speed of light, Doeleman explained the image in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Researchers said they will continue to refine the image and study the discovery, which brought astonishment and wonder to the team of over 200 people involved in the research, Doeleman said. And a quick glance will show you that it doesn't look anything like Gargantua, the black hole in the movie Interstellar.

We have already reported on the preparations to one of the most important events in the history of space exploration - taking pictures of a black hole.

The cooperation of so many countries was conducted within the project called Event Horizon Telescope.

The term "black hole" refers to a point in space where matter is so compressed that it creates a gravity field from which even light can not escape.

Jason Dexter, EHT team member and an astrophysicist with Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, told Xinhua that the size and shape of the shadow are "a prediction of general relativity and detecting it would be the best evidence for the existence of a black hole in the universe".

There is big news from 55 Million light years away--and the University of Arizona had a big role in making it happen.

Dr Bouman became an global sensation with her name and image trending on Twitter in the hours after the revolutionary photo's release. Now scientists think black holes lurk in the hearts of other galaxies. Rather, thanks to heroic efforts by schedulers at Chandra, EHT, and NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, as well as by the EHT's Multiwavelength Working Group, Chandra was used to observe M87 and other targets during the EHT campaign. Our simulations, which are based on the motion of magnetic fields and hot gas near the black hole, showed that the jets are powered by the black hole itself.

If the data is collected at the same time, scientists can use it to produce an image.

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