Polarized Light Reveals Black Hole’s Magnetic Field #SpaceSaturday
Now that we have a sense of the shape of black holes, it’s time for a remake of The Black Hole. Bring back V.I.N.C.E.N.T. and Old B.O.B. Bring back Maximillian and those creepy faceless drones. And have them all playing around the astonishing first image of a black hole, captured by Katie Bouman’s algorithm and a team of over 200 researchers. And now we’ve got more. The Event Horizon Telescope has captured how the black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy looks in polarized light. Here’s more form Astronomy Now:
“We are now seeing the next crucial piece of evidence to understand how magnetic fields behave around black holes, and how activity in this very compact region of space can drive powerful jets that extend far beyond the galaxy,” says Monika Mościbrodzka, Coordinator of the EHT Polarimetry Working Group and Assistant Professor at Radboud Universiteit in the Netherlands.
“This work is a major milestone: the polarisation of light carries information that allows us to better understand the physics behind the image we saw in April 2019, which was not possible before,” explains Iván Martí-Vidal, also Coordinator of the EHT Polarimetry Working Group and GenT Distinguished Researcher at the Universitat de València, Spain. He adds that “unveiling this new polarised-light image required years of work due to the complex techniques involved in obtaining and analysing the data.”
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