May 19, 2022

How scientists created the first image of the Milky Way’s black hole

How scientists created the first image of the Milky Way’s black hole
How scientists created the first image of the Milky Way’s black holeHow scientists created the first image of the Milky Way’s black hole

For the first time, we have imaged the black hole at the centre of our own galaxy. The Event Horizon Telescope, which uses a network of eight observatories around the world as a single enormous radio telescope, has taken its second image of a black hole, which is the first-ever direct image of the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole.

In 2017, the network of telescopes observed two supermassive black holes: the one in the Milky Way, which is called Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*, and the one at the centre of another galaxy called M87. The image of the black hole in M87 was released in 2019 and, after two more years of painstaking data analysis, the collaboration has finally released its picture of Sagittarius A*.