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2019-04-10. The first picture of a black hole opens a new era of astrophysics.

posted Apr 13, 2019, 4:48 PM by Alan Gould
By Lisa Grossman and Emily Conover, ScienceNews. [https://www.sciencenews.org/article/black-hole-first-picture-event-horizon-telescope] For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 9. Excerpt: A world-spanning network of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope [EHT; https://eventhorizontelescope.org/] zoomed in on the supermassive monster in the galaxy M87 to create this first-ever picture of a black hole.  ...“We’ve been studying black holes so long, sometimes it’s easy to forget that none of us have actually seen one,” France Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation....  ...The image also provides a new measurement of the black hole’s size and heft. ...Estimates made using different techniques have ranged between 3.5 billion and 7.22 billion times the mass of the sun. But the new EHT measurements show that its mass is about 6.5 billion solar masses. ...The team has also determined the behemoth’s size — its diameter stretches 38 billion kilometers — and that the black hole spins clockwise. “M87 is a monster even by supermassive black hole standards,” Markoff said. EHT trained its sights on both M87’s black hole and Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. But, it turns out, it was easier to image M87’s monster. That black hole is 55 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo, about 2,000 times as far as Sgr A*. But it’s also about 1,000 times as massive as the Milky Way’s giant, which weighs the equivalent of roughly 4 million suns....  See also Size Comparison: The M87 Black Hole and our Solar System [https://xkcd.com/2135/] and Science Magazine article [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/black-hole