UA Science
Left: Event Horizon Telescope Tucson Team, Right: Main image of Sgr A* captured by the Event Horizon Telescope

Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy

At simultaneous press conferences around the world on May 12, including here in Tucson, astronomers have unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the centre of most galaxies. The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes. (The Tucson group is listed towards the bottom here, and there is a link for a larger version of the team photo.)

The image is a long-anticipated look at the massive object that sits at the very centre of our galaxy. Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around something invisible, compact, and very massive at the centre of the Milky Way. This strongly suggested that this object - known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, pronounced "sadge-ay-star") - is a black hole, and today's image...

Using Algae to Capture Carbon

UA Astronomy and Planetary Science Professor Daniel Apai and Research Associate Martin Schlecker are working on a novel, scalable solution to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. The project idea was inspired by Apai’s astrobiology research on habitable exoplanets and long-term climate feedbacks that may stabilize the surface temperatures of those worlds. Their team is using a special type of microalgae to capture carbon dioxide. These microalgae use energy from photosynthesis to extract carbon dissolved in the ocean to build shells made of calcium carbonate, a highly stable mineral. As the algae can divide several times a day,...

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