Scientists are learning important new things about the first-ever directly imaged black hole, including behaviors consistent with Einsteinian theory, but it’s also showing an unexpected feature in the form of a very wobbly ring.
Seems like forever ago, but we finally got to feast our eyes on the apparently unseeable back in April 2019, when this incredible image of a supermassive black hole was first released. Of course, we can’t actually “see” the black hole, because, as any 6-year-old will happily tell you, black holes have a habit of sucking up light. What the picture does show, however, is an asymmetric ring, known as the black hole’s shadow, of superheated gas swirling around the black hole’s event horizon—that boundary beyond which light cannot escape.
This particular black hole, with the mass of 6.5 billion Suns, is located 55 million light-years away