Watch the first images of a supermassive black hole here!

An artist's concept of a supermassive black hole (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Scientists on Wednesday are releasing the first images of the event horizon of a black hole, constructed from data gathered by telescopes and observatories all over the globe.

Combined, the telescopes create a virtual telescope as big as the Earth itself which is powerful enough to capture data from the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

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To focus in on the massive but distant objects, the Event Horizon team employed telescopes in Chile, Hawaii, Arizona, the South Pole, and other locations around the globe.

Black holes, by their nature, are impossible to see with the naked eye since they are so dense that no light can escape them.

Instead, any images that will be released will be the silhouette of a black hole, an outline against all of the super bright, hot gas that is thought to surround these weird celestial objects.

Image: EHT | A simulation of the swirling disc of gas and dust around the black hole.

It will be as close as we can get to a picture of a black hole’s infamous “event horizon,” the boundary of a black hole where the gravitational pull is so great that there is no escape.

Details of what could be seen are not announced ahead of the release. But if all goes according to plan, these black hole images will hopefully shed some light on the nature of black holes and how they are shaped.

It also could tell us more about how some black holes become millions to billions of times the mass of our Sun.

“Even though those processes are things that could happen, we have not seen any of them happening in front of our eyes to be able to understand it,” Dimitrios Psaltis, an Event Horizon Telescope project scientist at the University of Arizona, tells The Verge.

“By taking a picture very, very close to the event horizon, we can now start exploring our theories of what happens when I throw matter onto a black hole.”

The Event Horizon Telescope actually observed two black holes during one week in April 2017: Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, and M87, which is thought to be in the center of a nearby galaxy called Virgo. Both of these objects are thought to be incredibly dense.

Watch the announcement live here


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