The Event Horizon Telescope has provided the first look at Sagittarius A* at the centre of the Milky Way.
Professor Karl Glazebook from Swinburne University of Technology said capturing the images of the glowing gas swirling around the black hole was a huge technical challenge.
“This was all quite a technical challenge, with the black hole spinning every few minutes, and hours long telescope observations, an amazing feat of algorithms and data processing,” he said. “The telescope is effectively the size of the Earth, and I think this is one of the sharpest images ever made.”
Professor Alistair Graham, who has been involved in black hole research at Swinburne over the past 15 years, said: “This is great. The EHT Collaboration has done it again. This is now the third image of a massive black hole at the centre of a galaxy, after M87 and Centaurus A, and this time it’s the galaxy in which we live, the Milky Way.
“What they have achieved technically is akin to imaging a doughnut placed on the Moon and telling you how big the hole is. Although, what they have done is photograph the silhouette of black hole four million times as massive as the Sun located 25,800 light years away. They are, quite literally, creating a family portrait of supermassive black holes in our neck of the Universe.”