In a major breakthrough, astronomers have achieved the impossible by capturing an image of a distant black hole.
This particular supermassive black hole, which measures a staggering 40 billion km across, is located at the center of the distant Messier 87 galaxy which lies approximately 55 million light years away.
The 'ring of fire' surrounding the black hole is caused by dust and gas falling in to its center.
The object is so bright that it puts out more light than all the stars in its host galaxy combined.
The image itself was captured using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) - a network of eight radio telescopes situated around the world.
"Black holes are the most mysterious objects in the universe," said EHT director Sheperd Doeleman. "We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have taken a picture of a black hole."
The groundbreaking image will help to revolutionize our understanding of these enigmatic objects.
For astrophysicists, these are exciting times indeed.
Source : The Guardian