Ever image of a black hole unveiled by EU-funded scientists

Black hole seen for first time in image showing matter being sucked into timeless oblivion

"You cannot see a black hole, but you can actually see its shadow", Moedas said.

The "monster" black hole measures 40 billion kilometers (~25 billion miles) across - that's almost 29,000 Suns - and is located 500 million trillion kilometers (~311 million trillion miles) away at the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy, a massive galaxy in the "nearby" Virgo galaxy cluster.

After all, black holes are among the most powerful forces and biggest mysteries in the universe.

If a dying star is massive enough, on the order of 10 or 20 times as massive as our sun, it's likely to collapse into a black hole when it dies.

The photo is the product of observations made in April 2017 by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an global consortium that linked eight radio observatories around the world to create a single, Earth-size telescope with enough magnifying might to see what until now has been unseeable.

But scientists say they were able to produce the new image from data collected from a series of radio telescopes around the world.

Each major astrophysics discovery of the last few decades tends to confirm Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.

The black hole is said to be an inconceivable 6.5 billion times bigger than the sun and is in a galaxy called M87.

The image was received as part of the Event Horizon Telescope project, which united eight radio telescopes all over the world, including in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Spain and France.

"Obtaining the same mass from two independent methods boost the confidence that we the black hole hunters are indeed on the right track", said Ma. "We're not promising anything" on images of Sagittarius A*, Doeleman said.

"UM contributed to the project", said Dr Juan Carlos Algaba, a VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) expert of the Radio Cosmology Laboratory in the Department of Physics, Faculty of Science in UM.

Koay holds a doctorate from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University.

This twisting motion causes them to release photons, which is the main source of emission from matter close to the black hole.

Black holes are extremely tricky to spot, owing to their distance from the Earth, and hence, their tiny visible size. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exist.

Three years ago, scientists using an extraordinarily sensitive observing system heard the sound of two much smaller black holes merging to create a gravitational wave, as Einstein predicted.

She captioned the Facebook post: "Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed".

Black holes are areas in space where gravity is so strong that nothing - not even light - can escape them.

"X-rays help us connect what's happening to the particles near the event horizon with what we can measure with our telescopes", Joey Neilsen, an astronomer at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, who led the Chandra and NuSTAR analysis on behalf of the EHT's Multiwavelength Working Group, said in a statement.

The five other telescopes are the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX), the IRAM 30-meter telescope, the Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano, the Submillimeter Telescope, and the South Pole Telescope, Liao said.

Those images were so good that scientists at first anxious that it was just too good to be true, Boston University's Marscher said.

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