Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
The World’s First Real Picture Of A Black Hole Revealed
10 April 2019, 14:43 | Updated: 10 April 2019, 15:15
The first ever black hole to be photographed has been unveiled by scientists - and it is three million times the size of the Earth.
It was pictured in the Sagittarius A* galaxy by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight telescopes across the globe.
The image of the black hole's event horizon, which is the outer edge of the collapsed star, shows a bright ring that is formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole.
Scientists said the discovery “pushes the boundaries of modern science.”
The black hole measures 40-billion kilometres across - three million times the size of the Earth.
“We’ve exposed a part of our universe we’ve never seen before,” said Shep Doeleman, an astronomer at Harvard University who directed the effort to capture the image, during a Washington DC press event.
The discovery was unveiled by scientists in six cities around the world to emphasise the cooperation between nations.
Commissioner Carlos Moedas, responsible for Research, Science, and Innovation, said: “Fiction often inspires science, and black holes have long fuelled our dreams and curiosity. Today, thanks to the contribution of European scientists, the existence of black holes is no longer just a theoretical concept.”
Data from the Event Horizon Telescope will be made public so scientists can verify the researcher's results.