dr-becky 4 months ago
astrophysicist #Space and Time

Supermassive Black Hole in Milky Way pictured for First Time

A supermassive black hole that lives at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way, has been pictured for the very first time.

For scale, the ring is roughly the size of Mercury's orbit around our star. Fortunately, this monster is a long, long way away - some 26,000 light-years in the distance - so there's no possibility of us ever coming to any danger.

The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration just released the first ever image of the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole (the same group that took the first ever image of a black hole in 2019 - the one in the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy).

What do we learn from this image?

Why is it orange?

Why is it different to the M87 image?

Why is it blurry?

And can we observe the same thing with the James Webb Space Telescope?

00:00 - Introduction

01:04 - How do we take images like this?

03:37 - How does this compare to the M87* image?

05:51 - Why is the image blurred?

08:30 - Why is it orange?

09:53 - What are the 3 bright blobs?

11:29 - What angle are we seeing this from?

17:07 - Will we observe this with JWST?

19:10 - Outro

19:36 - Bloopers

Dr Becky Smethurst
your friendly neighbourhood astrophysicist