Dec 29, 2021

Why the Webb telescope will stare into the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole

Posted by in category: cosmology

The telescope will join the worldwide effort.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) successfully launched on Saturday, and it will soon be ready to reveal parts of the universe that have never been seen before including a very large, but very broody, cosmic object at the center of the galaxy.

JWST will be joining in the ongoing, worldwide efforts to observe Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. This elusive beast has been inferred from its gravitational effects, but imaging the black hole itself has proven elusive.

In April 2019, a group of more than 200 astronomers from all over the world unveiled the very first image of a black hole. Using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an array of radio telescopes imaged the black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87). The EHT team compiled the image from eight telescopes on five continents working over an observing period of seven days.

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