The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy in pictures

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This is a historic moment for astrophysicists. On May 12, 2022, the very first image of a supermassive black hole located at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, was officially unveiled. It is called Sagittarius A*, after the constellation through which it is observed - but not with the naked eye, since a black hole does not emit light! This is quite a scientific challenge!
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(Photo: EHT Collaboration)

By definition, a galaxy is "an assembly of stars, gas and dust, sometimes containing a supermassive black hole at its center" (Helloprof). Ours is no exception.

May 12, 2022 was a historic moment for astrophysicists, as the very first image of the supermassive black hole located at the center of the Milky Way, our galaxy, was officially revealed. It is called Sagittarius A*, after the constellation through which it is observed - but not with the naked eye, since a black hole does not emit light! This is quite a scientific feat!

As early as 1974, astrophysicists had detected a compact and bright radio source in the center of the Milky Way. However, it was only in the 1990s that this source was associated with the presence of a supermassive black hole, those regions of space where the gravitational field is so intense that it prevents any form of matter or radiation from escaping.

Radio-Canada

Here is a silent version of the video presentation of this extraordinary photograph.

> There is also a version with original English narration and French subtitles here.

***

It is not the only one, nor the largest, but the objective of the astrophysicists was to succeed in capturing an image corresponding to the contour of this black hole, what is called "the event horizon". This poetic name designates the region that marks the immaterial limit of the entry into the black hole. Yes, we too are not sure we understand! There is still so much to discover on this side!


What are black holes? And what are the other celestial phenomena?

 

Goals

At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Consult current affairs articles to familiarize yourself with the subject;
- Provide information on black holes;
- List other celestial phenomena;
- Describe and explain these phenomena;
- Enrich a numerical diagram to summarize the things learned in the activities;
- Use the Internet effectively to find additional information.


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