Astronomers Capture 1st Image Of Milky Way’s Huge Black Hole

WASHINGTON (AP) — The world got a look Thursday at the first wild but fuzzy image of the supermassive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy.

Astronomers believe nearly all galaxies, including our own, have these giant black holes at their center, where light and matter cannot escape, making it extremely hard to get images of them. Light gets chaotically bent and twisted around by gravity as it gets sucked into the abyss along with superheated gas and dust.

The University of Arizona’s Feryal Ozel called the black hole “the gentle giant in the center of our galaxy” while announcing the new image.

The Milky Way black hole is called Sagittarius A(asterisk), near the border of Sagittarius and Scorpius constellations. It is 4 million times more massive than our sun.

The project cost nearly $60 million with $28 million coming from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears .

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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