Supermassive black hole appears to be firing a beam right at Earth

It's been discovered the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy could be shooting a beam right at the Earth.

Astronomers have struggled to snap clear images of Sagittarius A* thanks to a "foggy cloud of hot gas" in the way, according to a new study.

But after linking telescopes across the world to make a "virtual telescope the size of the Earth", they've managed to narrow down the source of its radio emissions to a point so small - one 300 millionth of a degree - the most logical explanation is that it's being fired right at us.

"This may indicate that the radio emission is produced in a disk of infalling gas rather than by a radio jet," said PhD student Sara Issaoun at Radboud University, the Netherlands.

"However, that would make Sagittarius A* an exception compared to other radio-emitting black holes. The alternative could be that the radio jet is pointing almost at us."

Several computer models have backed what would be a bizarre coincidence, especially if we're the only planet in the galaxy with intelligent life.

"Maybe this is true after all," said Ms Issaoun's supervisor, professor of radio astronomy Heino Falcke. "We are looking at this beast from a very special vantage point."

Sara Issaoun/Radboud University black hole
What the black hole looked like, using telescopes around the world. Photo credit: Sara Issaoun/Radboud University

As supermassive black holes spin, it's believed they let off two narrow beams from their north and south poles. It's one of those that appears to be zapping Earth.

Sagittarius A* has the mass of about 4 million suns, and is located 25,640 light years away - that's 242,573,000,000,000,000km.

The study was published in journal The Astrophysical Journal.