It is a remarkable time to be alive to witness a landmark of time and space take place during our lifetime. Like the landing on the moon, this generation has an impressionable image of space that will never leave them. A phenomenon that once sparked the imagination of millions has now been proven into existence.

The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (EHT) has successfully captured the first-ever photograph of a black hole, an achievement that combined the work of 200 researchers, 5,000 trillion bytes of data over two weeks, and over 10 years of planning to capture.

The picture shows a halo of dust and gas, tracing the outline of a colossal black hole, at the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy, 55 million light years from Earth. EHT used a “network of 8 telescopes spanning from Antarctica to Spain and Chile” virtually creating a telescope the size of Earth.

This groundbreaking global project is the first step in providing insight surrounding the mysterious and controversial black holes in space. After years of studying black holes and believing in the phenomenon, the sight of one and actual captured image has brought scientists to tears, France Córdova, director of the US National Science Foundation and an astrophysicist, stated “this will leave an imprint on people’s memories”.

Via CNN and The Guardian