Today, scientists released one of the most stunning images ever taken: a picture of a black hole. Located 55 million light years from our solar system (light travels almost 6 trillion miles in one year, so don’t expect to visit any time soon,) this was the first image ever taken of a black hole. What is a black hole? It is an area that has such a high concentration of gravity, that light cannot escape it. Every beam of light that enters never leaves. Formed from the death of a super massive star, black holes are something everyone knows of, but not many people know much about. Even the scientists who have studied them all their lives say they know almost nothing about them. Black holes are often at the center of a galaxy as they create the only gravitational force strong enough to hold millions of stars, planets, asteroids, gas clouds and more together. There is even one at the center of our galaxy! But do not worry, it will never swallow us up and suck us in. The sun will expand and destroy us before that ever occurred (you still have over 7.5 billion years before that happens!) Check out the amazing image below and see history for yourself!
What you are seeing is not so much a picture of the black hole itself, but the lack of light as it crosses the event horizon – or the plane where gravity becomes too strong and no light, or anything else, can escape. Cool, right!?