Outside this blue-green planet we call home, countless stars and planets surround us. Earth is part of a spiral galaxy called the Milky Way, most likely with a supermassive black hole at its center. The black hole that our entire world orbits around is called Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A* for short, and it’s amazingly massive – about 4.6 million times larger than our Sun, According to ViewSpace.org. For some additional comparison, our Sun is big enough for 1.3 Million Planet Earth can be contained within it (via Cool Cosmos). Let it soak for a moment.
Although we live relatively close to the black hole at the center of our galaxy, an estimated distance of 26,000 light-years away, Messier 87 (M87) became the first black hole ever photographed. to me NASA, galaxy M87 is about 54 million light-years from Earth and may have up to 6 billion times more mass than the Sun. Despite the unimaginable size of a galaxy (and thus the black hole within), you would think it would be easier to photograph something 26,000 light years away than something 54 million light years away. However, in the case of our Milky Way, the fact that we live in it actually works to our advantage. We’re surrounded by gases and cosmic dust, and there’s more stuff between us and the center of the Milky Way. But who wouldn’t want to see the black hole in our immediate vicinity?
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