First EVER photo of Milky Way's black hole revealed after groundbreaking Sagittarius A* mission
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THE first-ever detailed photo of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy has been revealed.

The black hole is called Sagittarius A* and it has never been photographed until now.

This is the first-ever image of Sagittarius A*


This is the first-ever image of Sagittarius A*Credit: NSF
A conference held by the National Science Foundation was used to reveal the discovery


A conference held by the National Science Foundation was used to reveal the discoveryCredit: Twitter

The glowing orb you’re seeing is actually plasma around the edge of the black hole.

Scientists just revealed the impressive image at a press conference today.

The National Science Foundation called the event “groundbreaking”.

The image was taken by the Event Horizon Telescope project.

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The project involved several telescopes to image the black hole and then scientists pieced these images together.

It took several years to get the final result.

The first-ever photo of a black hole was taken back in 2019.

That black hole was called M87* and it’s at the center of the much further away Messier 87 galaxy.

Despite being so far apart, M87* and Sagittarius A* look very similar.

Sera Markoff, Co-Chair of the EHT Science Council, said: “We have two completely different types of galaxies and two very different black hole masses, but close to the edge of these black holes they look amazingly similar.

“This tells us that General Relativity governs these objects up close, and any differences we see further away must be due to differences in the material that surrounds the black holes.”

It was harder to capture an image of Sagittarius A* because it’s smaller and the gas and light patterns around it change rapidly.

Scientists had to improve their technology and use new telescopes to make the new image possible.

Sagittarius A* may look small in the image but it’s actually the mass of 4 million suns.

It is consuming material around it but it’s doing this at a very slow rate.

Black holes were first predicted by Albert Einstein 100 years ago – though Einstein himself wasn’t sure they existed.

Current theories suggest that black holes are invisible because they have a gravitational pull so strong that they suck in light.

However, the material at the edge of the black hole forms a ring that can make it visible to our space telescopes.

Black holes spin so fast that the cosmic material at their edges actually emits radiation, and the EHT’s radio telescopes measured this radiation.

EHT Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, said: “We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

“These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the very center of our galaxy and offer new insights on how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings.”

Sagittarius A* is about 27,000 light-years away from Earth.

A staggering 300 researchers from 80 institutes around the world worked on this project.

NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said: “This image is a testament to what we can accomplish when as a global research community, we bring our brightest minds together to make the seemingly impossible, possible.

“Language, continents and even the galaxy can’t stand in the way of what humanity can accomplish when we come together for the greater good of all.

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“This is a historic moment where we see the black hole at the heart of our Milky Way as a capstone achievement following decades of intense curiosity-driven discovery research.

“NSF is proud to be an international partner that invests in this innovative research and the infrastructure that makes such fantastic discoveries possible.”

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