URBANA – CHAMPAIGN — A team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers are part of a large international collaboration that unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

This result provides evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which researchers think reside at the center of most galaxies.

WGN News Now spoke with physics and astronomy professor Charles Gammie about the accomplishment and exactly what it means for us.

“My team here University of Illinois Urbana -Champaign, works to explain what the image actually means,” said Gammie. “So, it turns out black holes can spin like a ply wheel. We built complicated computer models and we compared them directly to the data.”

Gammie says this kind of data teaches us how black holes fit into our galaxy and its structure.

The new image follows the EHT collaborations of the images released in 2019. Gammie was asked if there are differences or similarities between the two.

“The black hole that was in the earlier image was a thousand times as big as our black hole. And that black hole also evolves 1,000 times more slowly.”

So, what does this mean for the everyday person?

Gammie says it’s just really cool and piques the interest in science.