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NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/M.Weiss

We've all heard about black holes, but no one has actually captured an image of one, including the event horizon — the edge of a black hole from which light can't escape. For the first time, scientists have put together a worldwide project called the Event Horizon Telescope in an attempt to finally get a look at a black hole, per Vox.

  • The target: Sagittarius A, the presumed supermassive black hole that sits at the center of our galaxy, located about 26,000 light years away. For a sense of scale, trying to capture an image of Sagittarius A is like trying to snap a picture of a DVD on the moon, a University of Arizona astrophysicist told Vox.
  • The plan: Point 8 giant radio telescopes located around the world at Sagittarius A for 10 straight days — in effect, creating a virtual Earth-sized telescope — in an attempt to generate enough data to get a look.
  • The benefits: It could provide our best confirmation yet of Einstein's theory of relativity, and scientists might finally be able to test Stephen Hawking's theory that black holes lose mass over time.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America is anxious, angry and heavily armed

Data: FBI; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Firearms background checks in the U.S. hit a record high in 2020.

The big picture: This past year took our collective arsenal to new heights, with millions of Americans buying guns for the first time. That trend coincides with a moment of peak political and social tension.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.