The picture was made possible by connecting eight existing radio observatories around the world to form a single Earth-size virtual telescope that collects data for many hours on several nights.

This new image may look very similar to that of 2019 on M87 *, but the masses of the two black holes and the types of galaxies around them are very different. Researchers have found that Sagittarius A *, located in the center of our small spiral galaxy, consumes gas at a much slower rate than M87 *, which is located in the center of a giant elliptical galaxy and emits a powerful jet of plasma.

Although it was much closer to us, Sagittarius A * was significantly harder to capture than M87 *. This is because the gas around Sagittarius A * completes its orbit in just minutes compared to days to weeks for the gas orbiting the much larger M87 *, leading to a rapid change in the brightness and pattern of the gas. The team compared his shooting to “trying to take a clear picture of a puppy quickly chasing its tail.” To make the black hole visible, they developed sophisticated new tools for tracking gas flow.

“If Sagittarius A * was the size of a donut, M87 * would be the size of the Allianz Arena, Munich’s football stadium just a few kilometers from where we are today,” said Sarah Isaun, NASA’s Einstein Fellow at Harvard & Smithsonian. Center for Astrophysics, said at a press conference at the European Southern Observatory in Germany. “This similarity reveals a key aspect of black holes, regardless of their size or the environment in which they live. Once you reach the edge of a black hole, gravity takes over.

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