First image of our black hole (with wider background)

This is the first image of Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy, with an added black background to fit wider screens. It’s the first direct visual evidence of the presence of this black hole. It was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an array which linked together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope. The telescope is named after the event horizon, the boundary of the black hole beyond which no light can escape.  

Although we cannot see the event horizon itself, because it cannot emit light, glowing gas orbiting around the black hole reveals a telltale signature: a dark central region (called a shadow) surrounded by a bright ring-like structure. The new view captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole, which is four million times more massive than our Sun. The image of the Sgr A* black hole is an average of the different images the EHT Collaboration has extracted from its 2017 observations. 

In addition to other facilities, the EHT network of radio observatories that made this image possible includes the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) in the Atacama Desert in Chile, co-owned and co-operated by ESO is a partner on behalf of its member states in Europe.


EHT Collaboration

About the Image

Release date:12 May 2022, 15:07
Related releases:eso2208-eht-mw
Size:7974 x 4484 px

About the Object

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

Image Formats

Large JPEG
777.5 KB
Publication JPEG
262.7 KB
Screensize JPEG
37.6 KB



57.8 KB
79.9 KB
99.1 KB
103.5 KB
138.1 KB


Position (RA):17 45 40.04
Position (Dec):-29° 0' 28.24"
Field of view:0.00 x 0.00 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.0° left of vertical

Colours & filters

Millimeter1.3 mmEvent Horizon Telescope