Comparison of the sizes of two black holes: M87* and Sagittarius A*

Size comparison of the two black holes imaged by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration: M87*, at the heart of the galaxy Messier 87, and Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), at the centre of the Milky Way. The image shows the scale of Sgr A* in comparison with both M87* and other elements of the Solar System such as the orbits of Pluto and Mercury. Also displayed is the Sun’s diameter and the current location of the Voyager 1 space probe, the furthest spacecraft from Earth. M87*, which lies 55 million light-years away, is one of the largest black holes known. While Sgr A*, 27 000 light-years away, has a mass roughly four million times the Sun’s mass, M87* is more than 1000 times more massive. Because of their relative distances from Earth, both black holes appear the same size in the sky.


EHT collaboration (acknowledgment: Lia Medeiros, xkcd)

About the Image

Release date:12 May 2022, 15:07
Related releases:eso2406, eso2208-eht-mw
Size:3701 x 2163 px

About the Object

Name:Black hole
Type:Milky Way : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole
Local Universe : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole
Category:Quasars and Black Holes

Image Formats

Large JPEG
804.7 KB
Screensize JPEG
99.8 KB



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Colours & filters

Millimeter1.3 mmEvent Horizon Telescope