The researchers compiled an image of the magnetic field of the black hole


Two years ago, scientists presented for the first time an image of a black hole, more specifically a supermassive black hole lurking in the center of the M87 galaxy.

Nyt Event Horizon Telescope –project (EHT) researchers published a new image of the object, revealing the structure of the magnetic field outside the edge of the black hole, i.e., the event horizon.

The results show that the magnetic fields near the event horizon are so strong that they can resist gravity traction. In this way, they control the movements of the hot gas around the black opening and prevent some of the gas from falling into the opening.

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The result is powerful gas jets flowing at almost the speed of light. Such showers can plunge up to hundreds of thousands of light-years from a black hole, in the case of the M87 at least 5,000 light-years away.

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“We have known that there are magnetic fields near the black hole, but in the past it has not been possible to detect them so accurately,” says the researcher involved in the project. Tuomas Savolainen From Aalto University.

“Magnetic fields near the event horizon are key to understanding gas jets.”

The new image was composed of a black hole based on observations made in 2017. Eight radio telescopes from around the world were combined into one large observation device.

The telescope signals were transported after the observations to two supercomputers for connection. An image of the combined signals was then calculated. It is therefore not a photograph, but an image composed of observations made on radio waves.

The international EHT project employs more than 300 researchers from around the world. The researchers compiled an image of the magnetic field by studying the polarization of the light surrounding the black aperture.

Light polarizes as it passes through certain filters. For example, polarized sunglasses help you see better because they reduce reflections and glare on bright surfaces.

Also, the light emitted by the hot gas surrounding the black aperture is polarized, and the direction of this polarization is determined by the direction of the magnetic field.

The new image is based on a black hole image published two years ago, on which the direction of polarization is shown by lines. The length and contrast of the line tell you how strong the polarized radiation is.

According to Savolainen, the direction of polarization follows a ring radiating around a black hole in a spiral pattern. It shows that the magnetic field is arranged radially or vertically.

“From this we can conclude that the magnetic field is strong compared to the pressure of the hot gas. So it can resist the attraction of a black hole and control the flow of gas. ”

After image compilation, polarization observations were compared to computer models that have attempted to describe the behavior of hot gas in the vicinity of a black hole. New observations have made it possible to exclude some of the models.

“For example, it can be said that the very weakly magnetized gas model does not work, at least.”

The study was published in two articles in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Articles can be read here and here.

Work to capture black holes continues. According to Savolainen, new antennas have been added to the network of EHT telescopes to capture more accurate images. The next observation session is scheduled for April.

“The goal is to get new insights into the M87 aperture so we can find out if the image of the black aperture changes over time.”

The observations made from the black hole in our home galaxy have been compiled into an image.

Another super-massive black hole, Sagittarius A *, hidden in the middle of the Milky Way, has also been the subject of observations. The observations made from the black hole in our home galaxy have been compiled into an image for two years now.

“The work is still in progress, but at some point we will also get results from the Milky Way’s black hole.”


Source: Tiede by www.tiede.fi.

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