This is it! The first actual image of a monster black hole!
The ‘hole is the black iris embedded in its accretion disc of glowing gas. The brighter area at the bottom is an effect of the matter orbiting the event horizon at close to the speed of light. The lower-left portion is moving towards us, so appears brighter; while in the upper-right is moving away, and so we see it dimmer.
…and this is how it would look up close!
Super-computer Simulation of the M87 Black Hole
This image is a result of a simulation run before the actual photograph of the M87 Black-hole was captured. We know this must be close to what the ‘hole would look like because when the simulation is blurred, as if by 53 Million light-years of intervening space, it looks almost identical to the actual photo!
Simulated blurring of simulated Black Hole
I am flabbergasted, especially when you realise that the relative size of the entire image is the same as a doughnut left on the surface of the Moon!
Truly amazing stuff! True life Sci-Fi!! I love it! 🙂
A very comprehensive article here giving much more insight.
Update: This is a really nice video which explains why the Black Hole photo looks like a top down view of a doughnut. It had bothered me that we seemed to be looking directly into the ‘hole. “How to Understand the Image of a Black Hole”
Update 2: The image is actually from the Black-hole at the center of the galaxy M87, scientists are still processing the data on Sagittarius A*