TOP TEN SPACE PHOTOS: Most Viewed of 2008

TOP SPACE PHOTOS: Most Viewed of 2008
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8. Black Hole Seen in Closest Look Ever

Ground-based radio telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona, and California combined forces to examine the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Although by definition we can't see a black hole directly, we can see the bright region of radio emissions known as Sagittarius A* that's thought to be either a disk of matter swirling toward the black hole, or a high-speed jet of matter being ejected from it.

Astronomers who released the image in September noted that further study of Sagittarius A* should help us understand "what happens as matter is drawn near to the black hole and disappears forever."

More about this picture >>
—Image courtesy NASA, /CXC, MIT, F.K.Baganoff et al
 
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