May 24, 2024 1:32 am
Magnetic Fields Surrounding Milky Way’s Black Hole – Exploring the Science & Technology

Astronomers have made a groundbreaking discovery of powerful magnetic fields swirling around the black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced this finding, stating that a new image from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has revealed a ring of magnetic fields surrounding the Sagittarius A* black hole in polarized light for the first time.

The discovery of these magnetic fields is similar to those observed around the M87* black hole in the center of the M87 Galaxy, leading ESO to believe that strong magnetic fields might be a common feature of all black holes. Sara Issaoun from Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics, who co-leads the project, described the magnetic fields near our Milky Way’s black hole as strong, twisted, and organized.

Images captured in polarized light allow astronomers to isolate the magnetic field lines, providing insights into their structure and strength. These supermassive black holes found at the centers of galaxies possess masses that are millions and even billions of times greater than that of our Sun, with their origins being a mystery to scientists.

Despite nothing escaping the gravitational pull of black holes not even light can be directly observed by us; however, advancements in technology have made it possible to indirectly observe them. The EHT captured halo produced by flow of matter and gases attracted and expelled by these cosmic entities provide key insights into their behavior.

Angelo Ricarte from Harvard Black Hole Initiative and co-lead scientist stated that by imaging polarized light from hot glowing gas near black holes, scientists can directly infer structures and strengths of these mysterious cosmic systems. Mariafelicia De Laurentis, deputy scientist at EHT and professor at University of Naples Federico II noted that strong magnetic fields observed around both M87* and Sagittarius A* may be universal fundamental features present in such systems.

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