This year's Nobel laureates in physics were honored for their discoveries pertaining to black holes, and indicating that there is a black hole at the center of the Milky Way, called "Sagittarius A*."

2020 Nobel Prize in Physics Highlights Black Holes, Mentors and Collaboration

When massive stars undergo gravitational collapse, they sometimes become black holes, with such extreme gravity they prevent even light from escaping. Three researchers investigating black holes — Sir Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez — received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics on Oct. 6.

An image provided by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, via National Science Foundation shows the first image of a black hole, from the galaxy Messier 87. The image, of a lopsided ring of light surrounding a dark circle deep in the heart of the galaxy known as Messier 87, some 55 million light-years away from here, resembled the Eye of Sauron, a reminder yet again of the power and malevolence of nature. It is a smoke ring framing a one-way portal to eternity.

Cornell Professors Weigh in on First-Ever Image of Black Hole

Prof. Paul Teukolsky, Hans A. Bethe Professor of physics and astrophysics, and Prof. Dong Lai, astronomy, expressed their enthusiasm about how this development can influence and advance the gravitational wave research being done at Cornell.