The first image of Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A*, was captured on Thursday by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).
The discovery will help astronomers understand more about black holes and the birth of our galaxy. Only the second black hole to be captured by telescopes, it also helps confirm Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity.
The first hint of Sgr A* came in 1933 when a powerful radio signal was detected streaming towards Earth from the constellation known as Sagittarius. The mysterious signal became known as Sagittarius A before finally being unveiled as a supermassive black hole on Thursday.
The reason that it took 89 years to confirm the presence of Sagittarius A* is due to its mass and distance from our own planet. The supermassive black hole is located 27,000 light-years away from Earth. And though it has a mass 4 million times larger than the Sun, it is only 31 times bigger.
In order to detect Sgr A*, scientists built the EHT, which links together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope.
The EHT observed the black hole for multiple nights and collected data for many hours in a row, similar to using a long exposure on a camera.
For updates on Sgr A*, visit the EHT website at https://bit.ly/3NdbPyM.
Published : May 19, 2022
Published : May 13, 2022
By : THE NATION