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Peering Through the Fog of a Supermassive Black Hole

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An artist's rendition of a supermassive black hole, such as the one at the center of...
An artist’s rendition of a supermassive black hole, such as the one at the center of the Milky Way(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Studying black holes is a tricky business, but not always because they’re so dim – to the contrary, in some cases it’s hard to see through the bright cloud of hot gas that surrounds them. Now, a team of astronomers has used a global array of telescopes to peer through that fog and capture some of the clearest radio images yet of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. And it may indicate that the object just happens to be pointing directly at Earth.

About 26,000 light years away, Sagittarius A* is probably not the closest black hole to Earth, but it is the closest supermassive one, with the mass of around 4 million Suns. That makes it the ideal target for astronomers looking to snap an image of a black hole. Of course, since light itself can’t escape the object’s gravitational pull, there’s not much to see on its own, but the goal is to see the “black hole shadow” – the silhouette of the object framed against the bright background of matter falling into the black hole.

But the problem is that since there’s half a galaxy between it and us, the light is scattered by all the matter in our line of sight, creating a bright cloud that obscures Sagittarius A*. To see through that, astronomers have now essentially used a virtual telescope the size of Earth.

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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