Watch the first image of a black hole get revealed

The Event Horizon Telescope has captured the first real-life picture of the supermassive singularity at the center of the Milky Way.

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Eric Mack
2 min read

It's a historic day for astronomy, and perhaps the beginning of a new chapter in how we understand the universe and the fundamental laws of physics. Scientists on Wednesday unveiled the first-ever direct image of a black hole and you can watch the grand reveal right here. 

This day, years in the making, is the product of the Event Horizon Telescope, which is a collaboration of several observatories around the world to form a radio telescope array as wide as Earth itself. You can learn more about the EHT and the significance of the first real-life imagery of the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy in our earlier coverage. The main event started Wednesday at 6 a.m. PT.

Without further delay, here's the image everyone's been waiting for:

First image of a black hole

This is the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster.

National Science Foundation

The image, the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow, reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the sun.

The embedded live feed above comes from a press conference taking place in Belgium, hosted by the European Research Council. Simultaneous press events will also take place in Santaigo, Chile in Spanish; Shanghai (Mandarin), Tokyo (Japanese); Taipei, Taiwan (Mandarin), and Washington, DC. (English).

Depending on what the first images of the mysterious and powerful cosmic object show scientists, it could help verify or cast doubt upon long-held ideas about gravity and the nature of existence itself. This is easily the most important photo of something 26,000 light-years away that you'll ever see. 

The beauty of black holes (pictures)

See all photos