Kay Nietfeld/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to astrophysicists who made pioneering discoveries about the nature of black holes, and their existence at the center of the Milky Way.

One half of the prize went to Roger Penrose, of the University of Oxford, who showed in 1965 that black holes were a direct consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The other half of the prize is shared by Reinhard Genzel, of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, and Andrea Ghez, of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Since the 1990s, they have led studies of the stars at the center of the Milky Way that whirl at incredible speeds around a heavy, unseen object. The stars’ orbits are some of the most convincing evidence for a supermassive black hole, with the mass of millions of Suns, at our galaxy’s heart.

This story will be updated.

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