Magnetic fields revolve around the supermassive black hole M87
Background: The Event Horizon telescope made history on April 10, 2019, when it was released the first image of a black hole. The bright orange circle, which is 53 million light-years away, was taken out by eight radio observatories on four different continents. Their combined resolution could see the full exit to the center of the M87 and see the bright light of the ultra-hot gas and heat flowing on the horizon of the supermassive black hole event (point of no return, where the black hole’s gravity is). it is so powerful that light or matter cannot escape its claws).
What’s new here: In one a couple of new studies Published in the Astrophysical Journal, astronomers went back to the data archive that led to the first image and studied the motion of light polarized around the object. Light waves usually oscillate back and forth in many different directions. But these waves can be polarized by magnetic fields and this oscillation is limited to a single linear plane. This light effectively traces the magnetic field lines of the black hole, creating a sharper vision than the blurred donut shown in 2019.
Why it matters: Magnetic fields shape how matter moves and rotates around a black hole, which can affect the feeding habits and evolution of a black hole. By studying how these magnetic fields work and change over time, scientists can better understand how the accumulation material around the black hole behaves and how it affects them, which can inevitably help us understand how supermassive black holes form and grow.