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The black hole itself is invisible (don't expect to see anything like the special effects in Interstellar), but the surrounding matter illuminates its "shadow", which can be seen. Specifically, researchers looked at the event horizon, the outer limits of where light can no longer escape the intense gravity of the black hole. They are believed to be formed by collapsed stars.

Our own Milky Way galaxy has just such a black hole at its core.

As the name suggests, the hole is very black: they suck in any light that goes near them, which means there's none left to reach us.

Data from the Event Horizon Telescope will be made public so scientists can verify the researcher's results.

The EHT project is an global partnership formed in 2012. He announced the image discovery. When the conference begins, you will be able to watch the live stream below. Despite decades of indirect evidence supporting their existence, black holes have never been captured by camera - until now.

Now, the EHT is actually using a collaboration of radio telescopes spaced out around the globe. It's about 26,000 light years away, and looks like a tiny dot from Earth, despite having a mass approximately four times that of the sun. "It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe". Many marveled at how much the film's rendering of a black hole called Gargantua resembled the image released on Wednesday. They have been connected to create a virtual earth-sized telescope allowing it to "measure the size of the emission regions of the two super-massive black holes with the largest apparent event horizons", the EHT says on its website.

Dimitrios Psaltis is an EHT project scientist from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

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It added that Washington's "unwise and illegal measure is a major threat to regional and worldwide stability and peace". Iran retaliated by declaring U.S. forces in the Middle East as a terrorist organisation, Iran state news reported.

The scientists said Einstein's theory predicted the shape of the shadow would be nearly a flawless circle - as it turned out to be. This is an opportunity for scientists to test some of the most complex predictions of general relativity.

A black hole's event horizon is the point of no return beyond which anything - stars, planets, gas, dust and all forms of electromagnetic radiation - gets swallowed into oblivion. The material rotating around toward us appears brighter, confirming that aspect of Einstein's calculations. Trapped inside the black hole's gravitational grip. That part, we hope we can see - and that's what the new image should show us. We saw something so true.

Even though the data was first gathered in 2017, it required a huge effort to produce the image released on Wednesday. Before scientists can analyze data from the network, a painstaking process must take place.

Jessica Dempsey is deputy director of the East Asian Observatory in Hawaii and a co-discoverer in the project.

Before this week, the closest humans came to seeing a black hole was the music video for Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun".

"It's a distance that we could have barely imagined", Frederic Gueth, an astronomer at France's National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and co-author of the studies detailing the findings told the AFP news agency.