We support our Publishers and Content Creators. You can view this story on their website by CLICKING HERE.

The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way has been imaged for the first time, astronomers announced yesterday. Known as Sagittarius A*, the galactic anchor sits about 27,000 light-years from Earth and is roughly 4 million times the size of our sun.

The presence of Sagittarius A* has long been inferred by the motion of nearby stars; yesterday’s news marks the first direct visual confirmation of its existence. Technically the photo—taken by what is effectively an Earth-sized telescope (see 101, w/video)—is a silhouette of the object. Black holes are ultra-dense, collapsed stars from which even light can’t escape the gravitational pull. The measurement detects gas and dust around the object’s boundary, which reveals its shape.  

Early analysis confirmed predictions made by Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Read more about the study here.