Everything you need to know about the first portrait of the black hole nestled at the heart of our galaxy


DECRYPTION – Astronomers on Thursday unveiled the first-ever image of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole that sits at the center of the Milky Way.

We are so inundated with sumptuous synthetic spatial images, particularly through video games and science fiction films, that it is sometimes difficult to take the measure of the feat that a blurry snapshot like the one that can represent has just been unveiled on Thursday, at the same time as six scientific publications published in the reference journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters. However, this is the first true portrait of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole that nestles in the heart of our galaxy. This is only the second time that a photo of this type has been produced, after the snapshot of the M87* black hole which made headlines around the world – including Le Figaro – in 2019.

How to take the measure of such a feat? It may already be necessary to imagine how small this black hole is on astronomical scales. By dint of speaking ogre » or « mastodon to describe it, we forget a little too quickly how tiny it is. Imagine…

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