Unveiling Black Holes’ Hidden Secrets: The Magnetic Field Revelation

Strong magnetic fields surround Milky Way’s black hole – Science & Tech.

Recently, astronomers have made a significant discovery regarding the powerful magnetic fields that surround the black hole located at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. According to the European Southern Observatory, a new image from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has revealed, for the first time in polarized light, a ring of magnetic fields surrounding the Sagittarius A* black hole. These magnetic fields are said to be similar to those observed around the M87* black hole at the core of the M87 Galaxy. This finding leads researchers to believe that strong magnetic fields may be common among all black holes.

Sara Issaoun, a member of Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics and co-lead of the project, explained that this new discovery shows the presence of strong, twisted, and organized magnetic fields near the black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. This was made possible through polarized light images, which allowed astronomers to isolate the magnetic field lines of the black hole.

Supermassive black holes, which are found at the center of galaxies, are significantly larger in mass compared to our Sun, with masses ranging from millions to billions of times greater. Although these entities emerged early in our universe’s history, their origins remain a mystery. What makes them difficult to study is that nothing – not even light – can escape their immense gravitational pull, making them impossible to observe directly. However, with EHT capturing images of M87* in 2019 and Sagittarius A* in 2022, astronomers were able to view the halo of light that forms due to inflow and outflow of matter and gas around black holes.

Angelo Ricarte, a member of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative and co-lead on this project highlighted how imaging polarized light emitted by hot gas surrounding black holes is significant as it allowed researchers to directly understand structure and strength of magnetic fields driving flow towards these celestial bodies. Mariafelicia De Laurentis added that this presence suggests a universal characteristic among supermassive black holes in galaxies across our universe.

Overall this discovery opens up exciting new possibilities for understanding one of nature’s most mysterious objects: Black Holes

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