On May 12, 2022, the European Southern Observatory held a press conference to publicize the image “Sagittarius A” (A*).

The image shows the shadow of the event horizon around a black hole. The photo was captured from a network of 11 telescopes around the world, producing a kind of telescope the size of planet Earth.

The literature teaches us that a black hole is a dense place in space and its gravitational field is so strong that not even light can come out. So what delimits the surface of a black hole is called the “event horizon,” and that’s what the image captured.

The team responsible for the photo is the same one that obtained the first image of the supermassive black hole, in 2019, and this new discovery completed the proposal of the research started in 2015.

According to scientist Geoffrey Bower “These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the center of our galaxy and offer new insights into how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings”

Sagittarius A*

Discovered in 1974, Sagittarius A is a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, measuring about 35 million kilometers in diameter, and is a major source of radio waves.

The image may help astronomers to study the properties of accretion and flow around the center of our galaxy, through the deepening of studies the fundamental physics of black holes.

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project creates images of black holes, using a global network of radio observatories in unison to effectively create an Earth-sized telescope.

It looks like magic, but it’s just technology helping us better understanding the Universe. 

After all, as Arthur C. Clarke has said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”


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