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WVU researcher says black hole photo confirms long-held suspicions about gravity, light and galaxies

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Sarah Burke Spolaor

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The first photo taken of a black hole underscores the astrophysics research happening at the Center for Gravitational Waves Cosmology at West Virginia University. Associate Professor Sarah Burke Spolaor is part of the WVU team that explores the origins of the universe and the fundamental processes involved in galaxy formation, stellar evolution and star formation through observations with telescopes across the electromagnetic and gravitational wave spectrum.

Quotes and Comments
“The Event Horizon Telescope team has performed a spectacular feat, creating the first direct image of the central shadow of a supermassive black hole that's 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun. This image confirms long-held suspicions that supermassive black holes are the engines of intense gravity and light in the centers of many galaxies. Here at WVU, we are looking for the signatures of not one, but two supermassive black holes that are in orbit around one another. We can see these through effects in the black holes' large-scale jets, and in way they alter our very fabric of space-time through ‘gravitational waves.’” – Sarah Burke Spolaor, associate professor of astronomy

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CONTACT: Sarah Burke Spolaor, associate professor of astronomy
WVU Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

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