Heart of the Matter
An illustration of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
Astronomers May Finally Have the First Picture of a Black Hole
Using a massive telescope network, scientists have data in hand that could open new frontiers in our understanding of gravity.
Westford, MassachusettsFor the monster at the Milky Way’s heart, it’s a wrap.
After completing five nights of observations, today astronomers may finally have captured the first-ever image of the famous gravitational sinkhole known as a black hole.
More precisely, the hoped-for portrait is of a mysterious region that surrounds the black hole. Called the event horizon, this is the boundary beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape the object’s gargantuan grasp.
As the final observing run ended at 11:22 a.m. ET, team member Vincent Fish sat contentedly in his office at the MIT Haystack Observatory in Westford, Massachusetts. For the past week, Fish had been on call 24/7, sleeping fitfully with his cell phone next to him, the ringer set loud.