Light spiraling at the edge of a supermassive black hole could help matter escape consumption by this cosmic giant.
the Giant black hole The mass of M87 – also known as M87* – is equivalent to about 6.5 billion suns. It particularly came to public attention in 2019 when an image of M87* was captured by a camera Event horizon telescope (EHT), it was our first glimpse of the surroundings of Black hole humanity has ever acquired.
Now, the EHT group, which was behind this historic image, has modeled the way the electric fields of light orbit the supermassive black hole, which lies about 54 million away. Light year away from Land. This polarized light, whose waves vibrate on one plane, carries information about the magnetic field and particles that are accelerating to speeds close to the speed of light around the black hole.
Scientists now suggest that these magnetic fields may deprive the giant black hole M87 of its meal, and instead release this material into… space Like parallel (or parallel) jets that explode at approximately a high level The speed of light. Light constantly orbiting around M87* is also known as circular polarization.
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“Circular polarization is the last signal we looked for in the first EHT observations of the M87 black hole, and (the polarization) was the most difficult to analyze,” says Andrew Chell, co-author of the study and project coordinator at Princeton University. He said in a statement.
“These new results give us confidence that our picture of a strong magnetic field permeating the hot gas surrounding the black hole is correct,” added Chail, a research associate at the Princeton Gravity Initiative – which brings together the university’s research. AstrophysicsDepartments of Mathematics and Physics for research on nature gravity. “These unprecedented EHT observations allow us to answer long-standing questions about how black holes consume matter and launch jets outside their host galaxies,” he added.
Two years after publishing the image of the supermassive black hole in M87, in 2021, the EHT Collaboration released Amazing second look. The latest image showed, for the first time, polarized light around a black hole. (Polarized light has a different direction and brightness than unpolarized light.) The 2021 data also revealed the direction of the oscillating (vibrating) electric fields, providing the first hint that the magnetic fields around M87* are strong and ordered.
Next, the researchers took a closer look using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) located in northern Chile, which provided calibration by acting as a reference antenna for the EHT. ALMA is an array of 66 antennas located in the Chilean desert that can penetrate dusty cosmic environments, such as black holes, to search for longer wavelengths of light.
ALMA is part of EHT’s network of radio telescopes around the world, which come together to create a virtual Earth-sized instrument. (This technique is also known as very long baseline interferometry, or VLBI.)
New analysis of ALMA data, collected in 2017, shows how electric fields twist light in a linear direction, once again providing evidence of the strong magnetic fields that could be seen in 2021. Using computer simulations, EHT scientists suggest these strong magnetic fields. Magnetic fields push back material falling toward M87*.
Magnetic fields also shoot jets of matter away from M87* at speeds close to the speed of light before the matter passes through the black hole. Event horizon– the point at which nothing, not even light, can escape from a black hole – and adds to black holes’ already enormous mass. (This means that the EHT cannot image the black holes themselves, because they do not emit any light, but the surroundings of each black hole glow in detectable radiation.)
“The researchers continue to analyze the data in search of stronger evidence of linear polarization, which they say their work could still leave room for improvement,” said Hugo Messias, a co-author of the study who leads the VLBI team at ALMA, in the same statement. “This circularly polarized light that has now been detected is very faint, but in recent years, the EHT has been observing with more stations and improved sensitivity – meaning continued analysis is likely to provide us with new tips about the secrets surrounding M87*.”
The EHT Collaboration is collectively credited as first author on the EHT’s new findings, which are detailed in a paper published on Wednesday (November 8) in Astrophysical Journal.