"X-rays help us connect what's happening to the particles near the event horizon with what we can measure with our telescopes", Joey Neilsen, an astronomer at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, who led the Chandra and NuSTAR analysis on behalf of the EHT's Multiwavelength Working Group, said in a statement. Most galaxies are thought to have a supermassive black hole at their center.
BNOW: The black hole actually turns out to look like scientists predicted.
But, for the sake of perspective, the black hole is believed to be 3 million times the size of planet Earth; not to mention that it's estimated to be 6.5 billion times the mass of the Sun.
Doeleman said the image could have been just a blob, but they were thrilled to have captured the donut-like appearance of the accretion disk surrounding the black hole's shadow.
Three years ago, scientists using an extraordinarily sensitive observing system heard the sound of two much smaller black holes merging to create a gravitational wave, as Albert Einstein predicted.
US National Science Foundation Director France Cardova said: "This is a huge day in astrophysics".
First, this is the first time that theories of gravity (Einstein's general relativity and others) have been tested in such strong-gravity environments.
Scientists have known for decades that black holes exist, but only indirectly. Indeed, the two targets of this imaging project were the monster ("supermassive") black holes at the center of our Milky Way and in the M87 galaxy.
On Wednesday, Einstein's predictions about the shape and glow of a big black hole proved right, and astronomer after astronomer paid homage to the master.
One of the most freaky celestial objects ever discovered has been captured in a photograph for the very first time.
"You could have seen something that was unexpected, but we didn't see something that was unexpected".
Photographing a black hole is an overwhelming task.
Scientists say they observed the source for four days and "the size is always the same, it doesn't change and we measured the contrast between the ring itself and the central darkness", Astrophysicist Monika Moscibrodzka from Radboud University Nijmegen said.
Although black holes share a key characteristic - gravitational powers beyond that of even an supervillain - they have a variety of physical appearances. "It could be something just inside the event horizon, an exotic object hovering just beneath the surface, or it could be a singularity at the centre ... or a ring", Ziri Younsi, a member of the Event Horizon Telescope said " It doesn't yet give us an explanation of what's going on inside".
Professor Davis said she was "dumbstruck" when she saw the image.