A team of researchers has achieved the technical feat of recreating in images the intense magnetic fields surrounding the M87 black hole.
More than 53 million light years from Earth, the elliptical galaxy Messier 87 has not finished revealing all its secrets to us. At the center of the latter, the supermassive black hole M87 has intrigued scientists around the world for several years. However, thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Valencia and the Event Horizon telescope network, we now discover an image of the magnetic structure of the celestial object. A realistic rendering that made it possible to map the black hole, but also to assess an impressive cosmic mass, estimated at more than 6.5 billion times that of our sun.
Better understand the behavior of black holes
Earlier in 2012, scientists had already spotted using Event Horizon telescopes, a huge squirt from an explosion on the surface of M87. The eruption had been so violent that the light beams produced had traveled a distance of nearly 5,000 light years before disappearing. It was precisely in order to try to understand this phenomenon – as well as all the magnetic properties of M87, that the scientists had the idea to create an image of the magnetic structure of the supermassive black hole. Long-term work explains Ivan Marti-Vidal of the Uniersité de Valence: “This new polarized light image took years of work due to the complex techniques used to obtain and analyze the data”. To learn more about this fascinating phenomenon, two articles devoted to the astronomer’s research have already been published in the scientific journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters.