June 22, 2021

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Researchers are making magnetic fields very close to the black hole

For the first time, magnetic fields near the black hole can be detected, according to the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Gold on Wednesday, March 24. It is very important to us. This allows us to better understand how luminous structures are formed near a black hole, ”explained Anton Genes, director of the company.

The data comes back from the “Event Horizon Telescope” (EHT), which scientists have linked to various radio telescopes around the world. In 2019, EHT presented the first image of a black hole – a scientific sense. Since then, the analysis of the data has continued. EHT observations now show the first image of the magnetic field distribution in the bright ring surrounding the so-called shadow of the black hole at the center of the M87.

Why do black holes “spit”?

The key to this was given by observing the polarization of radio radiation, i.e. having a random direction of oscillation. Polarized radiation is considered by astronomers to be a reliable indicator of the presence of magnetic fields.

Magnetic fields play an important role in what are called jet planes. The background is that black holes absorb large amounts of matter. However, in this case some do not fall into the black hole, but are fired into space as super-hot plasma. “If we map the area near the black hole and understand the magnetic fields, we can begin to understand how these jets form,” Anton Census explained. “We measure something important for the interpretation of jets.”

In black holes, the mass of a few to several billion suns is compressed into a very small region. Due to its extreme gravity, even light cannot escape from the direct environment, hence the name. Black holes can arise, for example, if burning giant stars fall under their own weight. The exact appearance of supermassive holes such as the M87 has not yet been clarified.

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