Scientists capture first-ever image of a black hole

The National Science Foundation on Wednesday revealed the first-ever image captured of a black hole.

The black hole pictured is at the center of a massive galaxy in the constellation Virgo called Messier 87.

Black holes occur when a star dies and the core collapses after a supernova explosion. The gravity of a black hole is so strong that light cannot escape.

 

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Scientists say the black hole is 500 trillion kilometers away and measures 3 million times the size of the earth. Scientists have described it as "a monster."

The photo is the culmination of years of work and the Event Horizon Telescope, a group of eight telescopes stationed across the globe. The telescopes captured whatever light it could detect near the black hole, and the data was then combined into the image.

Astronomers at the announcement said the telescope has as much magnifying power as a telescope the size of the entire Earth.