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Scientists just switched on the Event Horizon Telescope
Artist's illustration of a black hole, because we don't have any real pictures of one ... yet.
A supermassive black hole lurks at the center of our galaxy, but we've never seen it. We know it's there, and that it has the mass of about 4 million suns, and that the stars in our galaxy revolve around it. But no one could tell you exactly what it looks like.
In fact, astronomers have never been able to snap a direct image of any black hole, ever. That's because although the black holes at the center of galaxies are supermassive, they're really far away. It's akin to trying see a grapefruit, DVD, or bagel on the surface of the moon. You'd need a supermassive telescope, 1000 times the size of Hubble, to spot one.
Or, maybe, just eight telescopes working together. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which is actually a network of eight radiofrequency observatories around the world, switched on for the first time on April 5. Between now and April 14, the observatories hope to gather enough data to piece together our first snapshot a black hole's event horizon—the "point of no return" threshold after which nothing can escape the black hole's gravity.