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The astronomers linked together radio dishes in Hawaii, Arizona and California to create a virtual telescope more than 2,800 miles across that is capable of seeing details more than 1,000 times finer than the Hubble Space Telescope.
The cosmic target of the observations was the source known as Sagittarius A* ("A-star"), long thought to mark the position of a black hole whose mass is four million times that of the sun.
Most galaxies are now thought to have black holes at their centers, but because Sagittarius A* is in our own galaxy, it is our best chance to observe what's happening at an event horizon.
Astronomers have obtained an unprecedented look at the nearest example of galactic cannibalism -- a massive black hole hidden at the center of a nearby giant galaxy that is feeding on a smaller galaxy in a spectacular collision.
The concept of black holes, objects so dense that their gravitational pull prevents anything including light itself from ever escaping their grasp, has long been hypothesized, but their existence has not yet been proved conclusively.