Unprecedented image could revolutionise our understanding of black holes

Elements of a black hole

Accretion disc

A swirling mass of matter destined to spiral into the black hole or be ejected into space

Event horizon

Gravitational boundary beyond which neither light nor matter can escape

Relativistic jets

Matter and radiation extending out hundreds of thousands of light years

What the Event Horizon

Telescope image shows us

Gravity bends light from the disc around the black hole, giving it the appearance of a halo regardless of what angle it is viewed from

Event

horizon

Radiation from gas and dust moving towards us appears brighter. This imbalance makes the ring appear brighter on one side

Radiation from particles moving away appears dimmer

Unprecedented image could revolutionise our understanding of black holes

Elements of a black hole

Accretion disc

A swirling mass of matter destined to spiral into the black hole or be ejected into space

Event horizon

Gravitational boundary beyond which neither light nor matter can escape

Relativistic jets

Matter and radiation extending out hundreds of thousands of light years

What the Event Horizon Telescope image shows us

Gravity bends light from the disc around the black hole, giving it the appearance of a halo regardless of what angle it is viewed from

Radiation from particles moving away appears dimmer. This imbalance makes the ring appear brighter on one side

Radiation from gas and dust moving towards us appears brighter

Event horizon