In a groundbreaking revelation, a recently released NASA animation provides a mesmerizing glimpse into the vastness of supermassive black holes. These cosmic behemoths reside at the heart of prominent galaxies, including our very own Milky Way, boasting a mass that ranges from 100,000 to billions of times that of our Sun.This captivating animation not only sheds light on the immense size of supermassive black holes but also delves into the mysteries surrounding their formation and evolution.The Event Horizon Telescope, a global network of radio observatories, made history in 2019 and 2022 by capturing the first-ever images of giant black holes at the center of M87 and the Milky Way. These images revealed a bright ring of hot gas orbiting a circular zone of darkness, which is the black hole’s event horizon.Delve into the depths of space as NASA’s captivating animation highlights the supermassive black holes lurking at the heart of galaxies, leaving us in awe of their extraordinary size.The intense gravity of a black hole redirects any light that passes close to it, while anything that crosses the event horizon is trapped forever. This creates a “shadow” about twice the size of the event horizon itself.NASA’s new animation showcases ten supermassive black holes in their host galaxies, including the Milky Way and M87, and scales them according to the size of their shadows. The animation begins near the Sun and zooms out to compare the progressively larger black holes to various structures in our solar system.Dive into the mesmerizing world of supermassive black holes with NASA’s stunning animation that showcases their immense size and gravitational power.In our celestial journey, we begin with 1601+3113, a dwarf galaxy harboring a black hole of astonishing proportions, weighing in at 100,000 times the mass of our Sun. The immense density of matter within this cosmic behemoth is such that even its shadow appears smaller than our Sun.Moving closer to home, we encounter Sagittarius A*, the gravitational heavyweight residing at the core of our Milky Way galaxy. Through meticulous tracking of stars in its orbit, scientists have determined its weight to be a staggering 4.3 million times that of the Sun. The diameter of its shadow encompasses roughly half the expanse of Mercury’s orbit within our solar system.Discover the secrets of the universe’s giants with NASA’s awe-inspiring animation that vividly portrays the enormous shadows cast by supermassive black holes, showcasing their enigmatic nature.Our cosmic exploration continues with a captivating revelation. The animation unveils the existence of two colossal black holes in NGC 7727, situated approximately 1,600 light-years apart. One of these immense entities tips the scales at 6 million solar masses, while its companion surpasses a mind-boggling 150 million Suns. Astronomers predict that these cosmic giants will merge within the next 250 million years, enthralling us with an astronomical spectacle of unparalleled proportions.In the grand panorama of the animation, we encounter the colossal black hole residing in M87. With an updated mass of 5.4 billion times that of our Sun, this cosmic titan casts a shadow of such magnitude that even a beam of light, racing at an astonishing speed of 670 million mph (1 billion kph), would require a staggering two and a half days to traverse it.As the cinematic journey nears its conclusion, we are captivated by the enigmatic TON 618, one of the few immensely distant and massive black holes for which astronomers possess direct measurements. This astronomical behemoth eclipses all expectations, boasting a mind-boggling mass exceeding 60 billion solar masses. Its shadow stretches across such an expansive expanse that a beam of light would need weeks to traverse it, a testament to the unfathomable scale of this celestial marvel.Image Credit: NASA