With the ultra-sensitive ESO GRAVITY receiver, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) was able to observe, for the first time, very close to the “point of no return” matter orbiting a black hole. It is located in the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, has a mass of four million solar masses, and the accumulation of gas around it rotates at a speed of 30% of light.
European scientists have observed flashes of infrared radiation at the edges of the massive Sagittarius A * object. This observation confirmed that the object in the center of the galaxy is indeed a supermassive black hole. Flares in matter on the event horizon of this black hole most likely triggered magnetic interactions in the very hot gas.
“It just blows away when you see in real life how matter revolves around a supermassive black hole at a speed of 30% of light”, – quoted ESO website by Oliver Pful of MPE. The receiver allowed them to observe these events in real time and in unprecedented detail.
On the basis of the data obtained, the scientists constructed a visualization of the picture “seen” by the device.
The first direct image of a black hole and gases in its orbit should be received by the guys from the Event Horizon Telescope project, who are connecting a large array of radio telescopes on Earth into a global network.
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