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Black gap Sagittarius A* seen in polarized mild

European Southern Observatory (ESO)

It is a supermassive black gap on the heart of a galaxy that we have now by no means seen earlier than. The picture reveals a swirling magnetic subject round Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), suggesting it could be producing jets of high-energy materials that astronomers haven’t but seen.

This photograph was taken by a community of observatories world wide working as a single big telescope referred to as the Occasion Horizon Telescope (EHT). In 2022, the primary photos of Sgr A* had been produced, revealing mild emanating from swirling scorching plasma set in opposition to the darkish background of a black gap’s occasion horizon. There, mild can not escape the acute gravity.

Now, EHT researchers Jiri Yunshi The researchers from College School London measured how this mild is polarized, or the route of the electromagnetic subject, and confirmed the route and energy of the magnetic subject round Sgr A*.

This picture is similar to the magnetic subject of M87*, the primary black gap studied by EHT. Provided that M87* is about 1,500 occasions extra huge than Sgr A*, this means that supermassive black holes might have related buildings no matter their dimension, Yunshi says.

The 2 black holes photographed by the Occasion Horizon Telescope are strikingly related.

European Southern Observatory (ESO)

One main distinction between M87* and the black holes in our galaxy is the absence of seen high-energy jets seen from Sgr A*. This lack has lengthy puzzled astronomers, however the truth that Sgr A* has a magnetic subject like M87* means that our galaxy’s black gap might also have jets. It suggests.

“There are very attention-grabbing hints that there could also be extra buildings,” Yunshi says. “I feel one thing very thrilling may very well be occurring on the heart of the galaxy, and we have to monitor these outcomes.”

This is sensible given different proof for jets which will have existed lengthy earlier than the galaxy’s historical past, comparable to Fermi bubbles, giant balls of X-ray-producing plasma above and beneath the Milky Approach. Masu.


Along with revealing potential hidden jets, the properties of magnetic fields additionally resolve different astrophysical mysteries, comparable to how particles like cosmic rays and neutrinos are accelerated to ultrahigh energies. This might assist resolve the issue, Yunshi mentioned. “Magnetic fields are the idea of all of this. Something that yields additional perception into how black holes and magnetic fields work together is of simply elementary significance to astrophysics.”

Yunshi and his colleagues hope to make use of a bigger telescope community and extra superior tools to take extra photos of Sgr A*, which can assist them perceive the character of the magnetic subject and the way it directs the jet. This can deepen your understanding of what’s being generated. EHT plans to start these observations in April, however processing the information might take a number of years.

It’s extremely uncommon to have the ability to observe the magnetic subject of a supermassive black gap in such element. Christine Dunn At Durham College, UK. “Magnetic fields are a department of astrophysics, and it is like saying the Tooth Fairy has arrived.” The similarities between M87* and Sag A* are actually being confirmed after we have a look at each extra intently. The decision obtainable can reveal variations that are not as apparent, she says.

References: Astrophysics Journal LetterDoi: 10.3847/2041-8213/ad2df0 &DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/ad2df1

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