Black Hole: First Image Released

Astronomers have taken the first ever image of a black hole, which is located in a distant galaxy. 

It measures 40 billion km across - three million times the size of the Earth - and has been described by scientists as "a monster". The black hole is 500 million trillion km away and was photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the world. 

Details have been published today in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

What is a black hole? 

A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape 

Despite the name, they are not empty but instead consist of a huge amount of matter packed densely into a small area, giving it an immense gravitational pull 

There is a region of space beyond the black hole called the event horizon. This is a "point of no return", beyond which it is impossible to escape the gravitational effects of the black hole

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