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First image of black hole made with China's support

By ZHOU WENTING | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-10 21:10

Yuan Feng, vice director of Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SHAO), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and expert on black holes, introduces an image of a black hole at a news conference, on April 10, 2019. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

The technique uses Earth's rotation to form one huge, planet-size virtual telescope looking into space at a wavelength of 1.3 millimeters, considered an observation of unprecedented sensitivity and resolution, according to EHT officials.

"Such high resolution is clear enough for someone in a cafe in Paris to read the newspaper held in another person's hand in New York City, or for us to read the number of a credit card on the moon from Earth," said Shen Zhiqiang, head of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Shanghai Astronomical Observatory and a member of the EHT international team.

Six papers about the research, which offered scientists a new way to study black holes, were published by US-based The Astrophysical Journal Letters on Wednesday.

Scientists explained that black holes are extraordinary cosmic objects with an enormous mass but extremely compact size. The presence of such objects affects their environment in extreme ways, warping the interwoven continuum of space and time and superheating any surrounding material.

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