Einstein proved right: The supermassive Black hole

Bol News  |  May 16, 2022

Black holes are one of Einstein’s most profound predictions in his general theory of relativity. They were first investigated as a mathematical consequence of the theory rather than as physically meaningful objects, but they quickly evolved into generic and sometimes unavoidable results of the gravitational collapse that produces a galaxy.

In fact, most physicists believe our galaxy revolves around a supermassive black hole at its heart. Other possibilities include “dark matter” (an invisible substance thought to make up most of the matter in the universe).

But now, an international team of scientists, including one from the University of Central Lancashire, has released the first photograph of the object hiding at the Milky Way’s heart – and it’s a supermassive black hole.

This means that the black hole known as Sagittarius A* now has overwhelming evidence. While being so near to such a monster may appear frightening, it is actually 26,000 light-years distant, which is reassuringly remote. Because it is so far away from Earth, the black hole looks to us to be about the same size in the sky as a donut on the Moon. Sagittarius A* also appears to be inactive, as it does not appear to be consuming much matter from its surroundings.

The accomplishment comes after the partnership released the first-ever photograph of a black hole at the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy in 2019.

 

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