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I'm sure in the last ten minutes you've already seen this very cool image of Messier 87:

enter image description here

But what am I looking at here?

In particular, is there a reason why it looks dark in the middle? Are we perpendicular to the accretion disc? Does this mean we're perpendicular to the plane of this galaxy? Is this matter behind the black hole which is being lensed?

What else can I learn by staring at this image?

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closed as too broad by Kyle Kanos, Aaron Stevens, Void, Dvij Mankad, user191954 Apr 10 at 15:24

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ from multiple sources I read that the image is of Messier 87, not SgA*. $\endgroup$ – AmIAStudent Apr 10 at 13:44
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    $\begingroup$ Did you read any of the articles posted about it? $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Apr 10 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos What is this reading you speak of? I thought the purpose of this site was to have other people do the reading and then condense it down to the important bits so I don't have to do to reading or critical thinking $\endgroup$ – Aaron Stevens Apr 10 at 14:09
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    $\begingroup$ @AaronStevens your impression is fully wrong, as far as I'm concerned. We fully expect that users put some amount of effort before posting questions. There are dozens of articles written about this in addition to the half-dozen journal publications about it that OP could have skimmed first. Instead, they went the rep-hoarding route to be first questioning the results. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Apr 10 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ @DvijMankad I think we need a "mood ring" machine learning algorithm that colors comments based on the emotion they portray. $\endgroup$ – Aaron Stevens Apr 10 at 14:52