Scientists unveil first-ever image of black hole
NHK -- Apr 11
An international group of scientists says it has successfully captured the first-ever image of a black hole -- an astronomical object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing can escape it, not even light.

Scientists from Japan, the United States, Europe and elsewhere presented the result of its project at six venues around the world simultaneously on Wednesday.

The astronomers released the picture of a black hole at the center of a galaxy known as M87, some 55-million light years away from Earth.

A black hole cannot be seen directly since its massive gravity pulls in all light and radio waves, but the scientists detected the radio waves emitted from gas and dust surrounding it.

The scientists used an array of radio telescopes in six locations around the globe to create a virtual Earth-sized telescope. They converted the resulting data into an image to get the first-ever photograph of the dark edge of a black hole.

They say the black hole has a mass about 6.5 billion times that of the sun.

It is believed there are many black holes in the universe. But scientists have only estimated their locations or made simulated images by referring to movements of other celestial bodies affected by strong gravity.

Observers say the latest revelation is expected to contribute to solving some of the mysteries of black holes, which are believed to have been deeply involved in the origin of the universe.

国際研究グループが、これまで誰も見たことがなかったブラックホールの撮影に成功したと発表した。研究の中心的な役割を担った国立天文台水沢の本間希樹教授は「(ブラックホール)そのものは見えない。ブラックホールの周りにガスがあって、それが光を出す。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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