Global Telescope Creates Exquisite Map of Black Hole’s Swirling Magnetic Field
New images have revealed the magnetic structures near a supermassive black hole called Messier 87.
Science & Tech
A new view of the region closest to the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy has shown important details of the magnetic fields close to it—and hints about how powerful jets of material can originate in that region.
A worldwide team of astronomers using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) measured a signature of magnetic fields—called polarization—around the black hole. Polarization is the orientation of the electric fields in light and radio waves, and it can indicate the presence and alignment of magnetic fields.
The new images allowed scientists to map magnetic field lines near the edge of Messier 87’s (M87’s) black hole, and are a key to explaining how the black hole, 50 million light-years from Earth, can launch energetic jets from its core.