May 21, 2024 1:39 pm
Newly captured image shows strong magnetic fields surrounding the black hole at the center of the Milky Way

A team of scientists working with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) have made an exciting discovery regarding the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) at the center of the Milky Way. Using sophisticated tools and a global network of telescopes, they captured powerful and organized magnetic fields spiraling from the edge of the black hole, a structure that had not been seen before in polarized light.

The new image provides valuable insights into the magnetic field structure around Sgr A*, which appears similar to that of the black hole in the galaxy M87. This similarity suggests that strong magnetic fields may be common to all black holes and hints at the presence of a hidden jet in Sgr A*.

Scientists first released the first image of Sgr A* in 2012, revealing similarities between it and M87 despite their differences in size and mass. To further investigate these similarities, they studied Sgr A* in polarized light, revealing the presence of strong magnetic fields spiraling near the black hole.

Imaging black holes with polarized light is challenging due to their quick changes, making it difficult to capture detailed photos. However, using advanced technology and a global network of telescopes, researchers were able to create a virtual Earth-sized telescope, called EHT, to observe Sgr A* in 2017.

This research contributes significantly to our understanding of magnetic fields and structures around black holes. While visible jets have been observed at M87, scientists have not yet found one at Sgr A*. The study indicates that both black holes have strong magnetic fields, suggesting this may be a fundamental characteristic of black holes. Further research will undoubtedly shed more light on these enigmatic cosmic objects.

Over 300 researchers from around the world collaborated on this project, which was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. This discovery shows how far we’ve come as scientists in exploring our universe’s most mysterious corners and highlights just how much more there is to learn about these fascinating cosmic objects.

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