Scientists on Wednesday unveiled the first-ever image of a black hole and its shadow located in a galaxy far, far away.

The black hole was photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the the world known as The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

“We’ve exposed a part of our universe we’ve never seen before, We have seen and taken a picture of a black hole,” Shep Doeleman, an astronomer at Harvard University who led the effort to capture the image, said at a press conference Wednesday.

The black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth in a galaxy known as Messier 87 and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the sun, according to the National Science Foundation.

“When you work in this field for a long time you get a lot of intermediate results,” Doeleman said Wednesday when asked what he felt when he first saw the image. “We saw something so true…it was astonishment and wonder and I think any scientist in any field will know that feeling, to see something for the first time.”

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The effort of capturing the photo is detailed in a series of six papers published in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.


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