Astronomers announced on Wednesday that at last they had seen the unseeable: a black hole, a cosmic abyss so deep and dense that not even light can escape it.
“We’ve exposed a part of our universe we’ve never seen before,” said Shep Doeleman, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and director of the effort to capture the image, during a Wednesday news conference in Washington, D.C.
To capture the image, astronomers reached across intergalactic space to a giant galaxy in Virgo, known as Messier 87. There, a black hole about seven billion times more massive than the sun is unleashing a violent jet of energy some 5,000 light years into space.
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