The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, an international group of radio stars that has been staring at the throat of a giant black hole for years, released on Wednesday the quasi-luminous fountain of light, called the most intimate portrait to date. energy that can reach interstellar և intergalactic space և disrupt the growth of distant galaxies.
The monstrous black hole is 6.5 billion times larger than Mars, located in the center of a huge elliptical galaxy, Messier 87, about 55 million light-years away in the constellation Virgo. Two years ago, the team photographed it, producing the first image of a black hole. The previously invisible body, the hollow of eternity, looked like a ring of hazy smoke, just as Albert Einstein’s equations predicted a century ago.
The team has spent the past two years extracting more data from their radio frequency observation observations that can detect the presence of hot gas magnetic fields around a hole.
Now, seeing through the radioactivity of a loaded sunglasses, the black hole of the M87 appears as a thin rotating blade, like the blades of a rotating jet engine, which pushes matter through a black hole, releasing energy into space.
“It’s like putting on a pair of blood glasses on a bright summer day. “Suddenly you see what’s going on,” said Shepherd Doleman, astronomer and co-founder of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
“Now we can actually see the patterns of these M87 fields, start studying how the black hole moves the material to its center,” he said.
Daniel Holtz, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago who was not involved in the study, said: “These relativistic planes are one of nature’s most extreme phenomena, combining gravity and hot gas and magnetic fields to create a ray that passes through a whole. galaxy Exciting It is understandable that EHT helps us to learn more about what is going on behind these relativistic planes that originate on the “surface” of the black hole.
Col. Anna Levine, an astrophysicist at Barnard College at Columbia University who studies black holes but was not part of the EHT team, called the results “shocking” as they uncovered details of how a black hole could create “deadly, powerful, astronomical A glowing gun that spans thousands of light years. ”
The level of detail of the new image, he said, could refresh theorists’ interest in features they have refused to watch ever since. “A lot of people will go back to their beautiful calculations, just dream daydreaming on a piece of paper to ask everyone excitedly. ‘Can EHT really? to see Is this it? ” said Levine. “I will be one of them.”
The results were announced Wednesday in two articles published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters by the Event Horizon Telescope Cooperation, and a third by Ciriaco Goddi from the University of Radbud in the Netherlands և a large international cast accepted by the same journal. ,
The dark role of the universe
These holes are bottomless holes in space time where gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape. what enters, essentially disappears from space. The universe is filled with black holes. Many are dead stars that have catastrophically collapsed on them. One sits at the center of almost every galaxy և millions or billions of times larger than any star.
Paradoxically, despite their ability to absorb light, black holes are the brightest objects in the universe. The material, gas, dust, and crushed stars that fall into a black hole, heat up by millions of degrees as it swirls around the eruption in a dense whirlpool of electromagnetic fields. Most of this material falls into the black hole, but some is pushed out, like toothpaste, by enormous pressures and magnetic fields. How all this energy comes into being’s marching is unknown to astronomers.
Such fireworks, which can exceed galaxies a thousand times, can be seen in space. When they first appeared in the early 1960s, they were called quasars. This discovery led physicists and astronomers to first take seriously the idea that black holes exist.
In 2009, Doelman և and his colleagues developed the Event Horizon Telescope, an international collaboration of some 300 astronomers from 13 institutions, to study the underlying mechanisms of Einstein’s predictions of black holes.
The telescope was named after the irreversible point of the black hole. Beyond the horizon of events, all light and matter are consumed. In April 2017, when the telescope spent 10 days observing the M87, it consisted of a network of eight radio observatories around the world. “A telescope the size of the world,” as Doelman likes to say, can detect just as small details on an orange moon. The team then spent two years processing the data. The results came together in April 2019, when Doeleman և and his colleagues presented the first images – radio communications, of a truly black hole – the M87 monster.
The SD holes were first “heard” in 2015 by the Gravitational Wave Observatory of a laser interferometer. Now they could be seen as a dense portal of nothingness, framed by a bright gas rotating cookie in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy.
“We saw what we thought was invisible,” Doleman said at the time. The painting appeared on the front pages of newspapers around the world, and a copy is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
But that was only the beginning of the journey inward.
Inside the dynamo
It took another two years for researchers to prepare the uploaded images released on Wednesday.
Radioactive, X-ray, and other energy-powered jets extend more than 100,000 light-years through the M87 black hole. Most of this radiation comes from energetic electrical particles that rotate in magnetic fields.
The newly developed image allows astronomers to trace these fields back to their origins in a hot, chaotic ring of electrified gas or plasma about 30 billion miles wide, four times the orbit of Pluto. This achievement is made possible by the fact that the disk light is partially polarized, vibrating more in one direction than in the other. “In the image, the direction and intensity of the charge tell us about magnetic fields near the black hole event horizon,” said Andrew Chael, an astrophysicist at Princeton University who is part of the EHT team.
Astronomers have debated for years whether the magnetic fields surrounding these so-called low-light holes, like the M87, are weakly turbulent or “strong”. In this case, according to Chael, the magnetic fields are strong enough to stop the gas from falling, transferring energy from the rotating black hole.
“The EHT images suggest that the M87’s bright reagent is actually powered by the rotating energy of a black hole that spins magnetic fields,” said Michael John Onson, another EHT member at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. ,
As a result, Doleman said. “This gives the emitted radio waves an azimuth twist,” which is seen in the curve of new, uploaded images. He noted that the azimuth scroll will be “a delicate name for a cocktail.”
According to Doleman, the implication of the work was that astronomers were able to estimate the rate at which a black hole feeds into its environment. Apparently, it is not very hungry. The S-cavity eats the “rare” one-thousandth of the annual mass of the male.
“However, it is enough to launch powerful planes that stretch for thousands of light years, it is bright enough to be able to capture it with EHT,” he said.
Doeleman is already laying the groundwork for what he calls the “next generation” of EHT, which will create films of this magnetic drive structure in action.
“This is really the next big question,” Doleman said. “How do magnetic fields extract energy from a rotating black hole?” We know it happens, but we do not know how it works. To solve that, we need to create the first black hole cinema. ”