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Scientists to release landmark image of black hole today

The first pictures of Sagittarius A, the black hole located at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, is going to be released. This will prove to be a landmark moment for the scientific community, which was made possible by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

All the previous images of the black hole shared by NASA and other scientific bodies were mere illustrations. Some were created by artists, and others were based on data gathered from telescopes. A real photograph, or at least an outline of it, could not be taken so far due to a lack of collaborative engineering.

Now, the EHT is actually using a collaboration of radio telescopes spaced out around the globe. Those are joined to create a Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI), close to the size of the Earth. The reason why an array of telescopes is used is because combining their signals boost their power.

This large observatory is necessary because, though the black hole photographed is four million times larger than the Sun, it’s still 26,000 light years away.


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