Captured: the first-ever picture of a black hole

Glowing light surrounds the event horizon of the black hole. It took 200 scientists in 20 countries who collaborated for a decade to capture a photo of a black hole for the first time.

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Glowing light surrounds the event horizon of the black hole. It took 200 scientists in 20 countries who collaborated for a decade to capture a photo of a black hole for the first time.

Margaux Hunter, Editorials Editor

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   At the center of the Messier 87 Galaxy, some 55 million light-years away, there is a black hole. This week, a picture of this black hole was taken- the first picture of a black hole. The researchers at the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) include 200 scientists in 20 countries worked together for ten years to make this picture happen.  

  In the picture, you can see light surrounding a dark circle in the middle. This is the light that is travelling toward the black hole, and once it reaches what is called the event horizon, it gets sucked into the hole and can never be seen again in our universe. The event horizon can be compared to the top of a waterfall, where it becomes impossible to turn around and escape the falling water. Once light reaches the event horizon, it cannot resist being pulled into the black hole.

  Light and matter get sucked into this hole because it is extremely dense and can be described as a point where fabric of space and time collapsed in on itself. We will never be able to see the light and matter that is inside of a black hole because of this. In fact, Sheperd Doeleman, the director of the effort to get this picture, called black holes a one-way portal from our universe.  Capturing a photo of a black hole is a huge jump for the science world and can help us to learn more about gravity and general relativity in extreme conditions. Scientists never thought they would be able to see a black hole, yet just one hundred years after Einstein alluded to their existence, the world now has a photo of one.

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