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Astronomers are capturing a new polarized view of the black hole

Astronomers are capturing a new polarized view of the black hole

Scholars From the international cooperation Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) announced Wednesday that they have managed to map magnetic fields around Black hole Using polarized light waves for the first time, launching an amazing image of a supermassive object in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy (M87).

The team of more than 300 researchers produced the first-ever image of a black hole – 55 million light-years away – in April of 2019.

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The researchers published their latest observations in two separate papers The Astrophysical JournalWhich they say is key to understanding how the M87 is able to “launch energetic jets from its core.”

From data first collected in 2017, scientists discovered that a large portion of the light in the near-horizon region of a black hole was polarized.

Light becomes polarized When passing through certain filters or when emitting them in hot areas of the magnetized space.

For the first time, EHT scientists have mapped magnetic fields around a black hole using polarized light waves. With this breakthrough, we took a critical step in solving one of astronomy’s greatest mysteries.
(EHT cooperation)

Astronomy scientists They were given a more accurate view of the black hole, and the ability to map magnetic field lines in the surrounding region, by examining how the light around it is polarized.

“These observations of 1.3 mm wavelength revealed the morphology of an asymmetric, ring-like source. This structure arises from the synchrotron emission from relative plasma located in the immediate vicinity of the black hole,” the group stated in Her monitored post. “Here we present the linear-polar EHT images corresponding to the center of the M87. We find that only a portion of the ring is highly polarized. The resolved part linear polarization has a maximum located in the southwestern part of the ring, rising to ~ 15%”.

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The group also noticed that the angles of the polarization position were roughly in a “azimuthal pattern”.

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azimuth It is the angle between a fixed point such as true north, measured clockwise around the observer’s horizon, and a celestial body.

The team wrote that it ranquantitative Measurements of the relevant polarization properties of the compressed emission “and found” evidence of temporal evolution of the polarized source structure “over the course of a week.

The data was then implemented using several independent imaging and modeling techniques.

at Companion versionThe collaboration showed that the jets of energy emanating from the M87 core span at least 5,000 light-years from its center.

While most of the material near the edge of the black hole falls into it, some surrounding particles are blown in the opposite direction in the jets.

Astronomers still do not fully understand this process, nor how matter falls into a black hole, but the new EHT image provides information about the structure of magnetic fields outside the black hole.

The version says only theoretical models containing strongly magnetized gas can explain the event.

“All astronomical objects from Land to me Sun Galaxies have magnetic fields. In the case of black holes, these magnetic fields can control how quickly they consume material falling onto them and how they can eject some of this material into tight packages that travel at speeds close to the speed of light, ”Jeffrey C. Bauer, EHT project scientist at the Academia Seneca Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Hawaii, To Fox News via email on Thursday. “We’ve shown that the fields are really strong enough to play an important role in how this black hole eats its lunch.”

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The EHT collaboration is an advanced network of cross-telescopes ChileAnd the SpainAntarctica green landAnd the FranceHawaii Arizona And the Mexico.

In order to observe the M87 galaxy, cooperate eight Telescopes To create an EHT: a “virtual telescope the size of the Earth” with “precision” equivalent to that required to measure the length of a credit card on a surface the moon. “

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This setup allowed the team to directly observe the shadow of the black hole and the ring of light surrounding it, along with the new [polarized-light] The photo clearly shows that the ring is magnetized. “

“Nobody has done this kind of picture before,” Bauer said. “Remarkably, the data that make up this image is the same that was used to create the first iconic image of a black hole released two years ago. It took us two years to analyze the data in a new way that allows us to separate the polarizations of light, a process like putting polarized sunglasses on our telescope.”

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