Black holes are mysterious phenomena, but astronomers continue to take leaps and bounds towards a fuller understanding of these legendary celestial objects. In 2019, the
Like with polarized sunglasses, light passing through certain material is restricted in its movement so that its vibrations occur in a single plane. Researchers examining the light surrounding the black hole in M87 discovered the light was mostly polarized. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, it is dependent on both electric and magnetic fields. For the researchers, the polarized light around the black hole allowed them to effectively map the magnetic field at the edge of the celestial object as seen in the newly released image.
The photo offers additional information for scientists and researchers. Monika Mościbrodzka, Coordinator of the EHT Polarimetry Working Group
Echoing her sentiments is EHT collaboration member Andrew Chael. “The newly published polarized images,” he says, “are key to understanding how the magnetic field allows the black hole to ‘eat’ matter and launch powerful jets.” These jets of energy and matter escape the black hole and project out into the galaxy and beyond. They, like black holes, remain an object of curious investigation by astronomers around the world.
In 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration—a global network of radio telescopes—released the first image of a black hole.
A new image has added a visualization of the magnetic field surrounding the black hole, based on observations of polarized light.
Created by a global network of radio telescopes, the image is another step towards understanding mysterious black holes.
Discover the center of the M87 galaxy, where there exists a supermassive black hole.