Astronomers revealed the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy on Thursday.
The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes.
It is the first direct visual evidence confirming the presence of the black hole, known as Sagittarius A*, at the center of the Milky Way, said the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in a release.
The black hole is about 27,000 light-years away from Earth, and 4 million times more massive than the Sun, according to the astronomers.
The effort to unveil the first picture of the black hole was made through the ingenuity of more than 300 researchers from 80 institutes around the world that together make up the EHT Collaboration, said the NSF.
"Although we cannot see the black hole itself, because it is completely dark, glowing gas around it reveals a telltale signature: a dark central region, called a 'shadow', surrounded by a bright ring-like structure," said the NSF.
The new view captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole.
"We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einstein's Theory of General Relativity," said EHT Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower.
"These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the very center of our galaxy and offer new insights on how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings," Bower said.
The breakthrough follows the EHT Collaboration's 2019 release of the first image of a black hole, called M87*, at the center of the more distant Messier 87 galaxy.
"Now we can study the differences between these two supermassive black holes to gain valuable new clues about how this important process works," said EHT scientist Keiichi Asada.
"We have images for two black holes - one at the large end and one at the small end of supermassive black holes in the Universe - so we can go a lot further in testing how gravity behaves in these extreme environments than ever before," Asada said.
Scientists have begun to use the new data to test theories and models of how gas behaves around supermassive black holes. This process is not yet fully understood but is thought to play a key role in shaping the formation and evolution of galaxies, according to the NSF.
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On May 11, 2022, the Public Defender of Georgia and Prevention for Progress, a non-governmental organization, presented a joint report “Impact of Covid 19 on the Health and Other Rights of Prisoners and Staff of the Penitentiary System." The study assesses the impact of special measures taken by the Special Penitentiary Service from March 2020 through 2021 on the rights situation of prisoners.
According to the study, the measures taken to stop the spread of the virus had a positive impact on the prevention of Covid 19. The above was also contributed by the allocation of quarantine spaces and isolation of suspicious patients. The importance of mass and regular PCR and rapid antigen testing of the staff and inmates played a key role in the early detection of the disease. According to the interviews with the medical personnel and prisoners, the vaccination process was proceeding at a good pace in the penitentiaries. In addition, compared to a similar study conducted in 2017, the percentage of respondents, who think that food quantity is inadequate, decreased in 2021.
The results of the study show that restrictions were overused during the pandemic period and no appropriate efforts were made to find possible alternative solutions. No appropriate steps were taken by the state institution to reduce the number of prisoners. During the evaluation process, special attention was paid to the medical issues. The study showed that the number of medical personnel decreased, which led to delays in the provision of medical care. Due to delays and reductions in outpatient services, the number of transfers of prisoners to civil sector hospitals increased, as well as the number of cases of emergency transfers to medical facilities. The reduction in the provision of outpatient psychiatric care also had a negative impact on the mental health of inmates, increasing the need for treatment in psychiatric facilities.
The pandemic and the measures taken negatively affected prisoners' contact with the outside world. The study made it clear that the free phone minutes added as compensation during the period of restrictions were not sufficient to counterbalance the restrictions. Prisoners were restricted from contacting lawyers, psychologists and social workers, and they were unable to receive the relevant services. The number of rehabilitation programmes also significantly reduced. The study also showed that the living and working conditions of the employees, who were not allowed to leave the facilities, were difficult.
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, accompanied by Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze, visited the Army City construction site on Mount Makhata.
The Head of Government familiarized himself with the details of this project for Georgian service members. The Georgian Government's policy intends all the best for the army, and care for our service members will continue, the Prime Minister emphasized.
The construction of Army City will be finalized in late 2022. The project involves seven 39-story buildings with 1,092 apartments to be constructed on Mount Makhata. Service members will be able to purchase residences on concessional terms with maximally affordable financial obligations. In particular, 50% co-financing will be employed. Instead of a private company, the Defense Ministry's construction film will be engaged, thereby reducing the capital cost significantly. Service members will enjoy 0% in-house financing instead of a bank loan. The estimated cost of residential spaces will be about 200 USD per m2, with service members paying only 100 USD per m2. This unprecedented offer will apply to service members based on preset criteria.
This project will continue, to which end amendments will be made to the Defense Code to allow officers ranked major and above, with master sergeants and sergeants ranked higher, to receive apartments, an unprecedented decision toward recognizing and appreciating the contributions of service members, and a move toward improving their living conditions drastically.
Press Service of the Government Administration
The International Nurses Day falls on May 12. Nurses and doctors have been at the core of the COVID-19 response, providing life-saving care and tireless efforts. Meet some of them still fighting the COVID resurgence in China's Shanghai. #GLOBALink
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11 May 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Georgia and the Italian Republic.
Throughout this not very short space of time, relations between the two countries continue to be based on key democratic principles and values being an essential prerequisite for further deepening the existing partnership and taking it to a qualitatively higher level.
Georgia and Italy enjoy close and fruitful cooperation, including in priority areas such as trade and economy, defence and security, European and Euro-Atlantic integration, innovations, education and culture.
Given the current economic challenges and opportunities, special attention needs to be paid to the great potential for economic cooperation between the two countries. Italy is one of Georgia's important trading partners - in 2021 trade turnover increased by 58%. The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU paves the way for new opportunities for bilateral cooperation. An increasingly greater number of Italian entrepreneurs and companies are interested in Georgia's investment potential.
In the face of the country's occupation and growing foreign threats, Georgia attaches particular importance to defence and security cooperation with Italy. Italy is actively involved in the development of the Georgian School of Defense Institution Building (DIBS) and is also interested in cooperating with Georgia in the field of military industry. It should be noted that Italy strongly supports the strengthening of Georgia's national security and the restoration of its territorial integrity. The clear position of Italy, as well as other European partners, is particularly important in terms of strengthening Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration, de-occupation of the country and non-recognition policy of the occupied territories.
The introduction and development of cultural and educational projects also remains an important priority in the relations between Italy and Georgia. Cooperation in the field of education is quite diverse and includes scholarships regularly announced by the Italian Embassy, the Innovation Agreement between GITA and the Italian agency - COTEC, Cooperation between the LEPL International Education Center and the Italian Conference of Rectors (CRUI), which provides Georgian students with the opportunity to study in Italian higher education institutions.
Cultural programs are also being implemented successfully, including in the field of cultural heritage and archeology. Numerous concerts, exhibitions, film shows, conferences on various topics are held in different cities of Italy and Tbilisi. Georgia regularly participates in the Venice Biennale, which is the most important international exhibition in the field of architecture and design.
It should be noted that on May 11, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the Italian Embassy in cooperation with the Georgian National Museum is holding an exhibition in Tbilisi dedicated to the unique material about 17th century Georgia created by Italian missionary and traveler Christopher Castelli. A special book of sketches and maps covering the same period will also be presented. Work is underway to issue a jubilee postage stamp.
MFA of Georgia
On 11 May, the European Commission published a consolidated list of travel bans in its EU Sanctions Map tool. This includes those who are implicated, in one way or another, in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
This sanctions tool is available to Member State authorities as well as EU citizens and allows EU citizens to see who is subject to a travel ban under our sanctions measures, and is therefore prevented from travelling to the EU.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell said that “travel bans are an integral element of our foreign policy toolbox and an important feature of most EU sanctions regimes”.
“Since 2014, the Council has imposed travel bans against 1,091 individuals in response to their actions violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. Since the start of the illegal Russian aggression in Ukraine this year, approximately 900 travel bans restricting entry into the territory of the EU have been imposed against individuals who support and facilitate that aggression,” said Borrell.
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