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Photo: University of Arizona

A couple of well-placed satellites in orbit above Earth could capture an incredibly detailed photo of the black hole at the center of our galaxy, scientists say in a new study in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Why it matters: If scientists can capture better photos of black holes, they might be able to push Einstein’s theory of general relativity closer to its limits.

Details: The proposed Event Horizon Imager would include 2 or 3 radio telescope satellites orbiting Earth that would be able to take photos of the Milky Way's black hole — called Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A-star").

  • These satellites wouldn't need to contend with the distortion caused by gases and other components of Earth's atmosphere, allowing scientists to capture clearer images.
  • "We would be able to take images with a resolution more than five times what is possible with the EHT," Freek Roelofs, co-author of the new study, said in a statement.

The backdrop: The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) recently delivered humanity’s first photo of a black hole — the one at the center of the M87 galaxy.

The intrigue: While the black hole imaged by the EHT looked pretty much exactly as expected, if researchers are able to get a more detailed view of one of these objects, they might see something they weren’t anticipating.

  • "If small deviations from Einstein's theory occur, we should be able to see them," study co-author Heino Falcke said in the statement.

Go deeper: What we learned from the first-ever photo of a black hole

Go deeper

Poll: U.S. leadership approval rebounds from Trump low

A Gallup report published Tuesday found approval of United States leadership in 46 countries and territories hit 49% — up from 30% at the end of Donald Trump's presidency, and matching former President Obama's first year (2009).

Why it matters: Biden's efforts to reengage with the international community following the Trump administration appear to be improving the global approval ratings for U.S. leadership, though this poll does not take into account the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.

Amazon's small business shield

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is touting the success of small sellers on its platform through the pandemic — and warning that antitrust legislation could jeopardize that success and blow up its open-marketplace model.

Why it matters: As online shopping became a lifeline for both businesses and consumers during the pandemic, Amazon reaped big benefits, but also saw its regulatory risk grow.