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New black hole images contain clues to cosmic mysteries


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In the heart of a gargantuan galaxy 55 million light-years away, a black hole with the heft of 6.5 billion suns is hurling a fountain of matter into the cosmos at near light-speed. Using an array called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), scientists harnessed radio waves to capture a mugshot of that black hole, offering our first-ever look at the extreme environment near its edge in 2019. 

Two years later, the international team that delivered the astounding image, along with additional partners, has published the results of a 2017 observing campaign that simultaneously scrutinized the host galaxy, Messier 87, in multiple wavelengths.

The report, which appears today in The Astrophysical Journal, includes data from 19 Earth- and space-based observatories, and is authored by more than 750 scientists. It describes a more complete view of the supermassive black hole and its massive jet, letting scientists take a good look at how magnetic fields, particles, gravity, and radiation interact within the vicinity of a supermassive black hole on multiple scales.

Spoiler

Black holes have been among the more intriguing, compelling astronomical phenomena for more than a century, capturing our imaginations with their extreme physics and the fact that what goes in never comes back out. But these cosmic sinkholes have only recently come into focus, thanks to the EHT image, as well as Nobel-prize winning studies of objects zipping around the supermassive black hole at the core of the Milky Way and a wealth of information gleaned from watching as black holes smash into one another.

“In the last few years, we went from black holes being science fiction to black holes being reality,” says Marta Volonteri of the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris.

The Event Horizon Telescope actually comprises multiple radio telescopes scattered around the globe, from Greenland to the South Pole, that act together as an Earth-size observatory. Making these images of M87’s supermassive black hole requires combining an enormous amount of data—so much data that the team can’t digitally transfer it and instead has to drop hard drives in the mail. 

Scientists are hoping these combined observations will help reveal the physics powering the mammoth jet of particles erupting from M87’s core. The jet spans thousands of light-years, stretching across the galaxy, and is somehow launched from the pool of blistering plasma, twisted magnetic fields, and other matter whirling around the black hole.

[...] As this week’s observing campaign unfolds, scientists are again aiming their telescopes at M87 to see how it might have changed. The black hole was in a quiescent, slumbering state during the 2017 observing campaign, which let the team see right into its core. Now, “we are very curious to see how M87 will evolve on longer timescales—we’re curious about what we’re going to get this time,” Moscibrodzka says.

The EHT team is also taking a peek at the supermassive black hole nearest to home: Sagittarius A*, or SgrA*, which is parked in the heart of the Milky Way. With a mass equal to roughly four million suns, SgrA* is less hefty than the bruiser in M87, but it’s also much, much closer to Earth and the EHT, at only 25,600 light-years away.

m87_lo_april11_polarimetric_average_imag

Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/new-black-hole-images-contain-clues-to-cosmic-mysteries

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In the heart of a gargantuan galaxy 55 million light-years away, a black hole with the heft of 6.5 billion suns is hurling a fountain of matter into the cosmos at near light-speed. Using an array call

Next time, please ask me for consent before publishing my pictures.... my hole feels exposed 

Take me there, I want to jump in it

LG6IsHere

the fact that that little hole has got the mass of 6.5 billion suns is INSANE

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Woolfsmck
22 minutes ago, LG6IsHere said:

the fact that that little hole has got the mass of 6.5 billion suns is INSANE

zackley

like a cat in a sil, I observe life, moving and still. My words give a clue,look inside to see whats true
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Monsterabriel
42 minutes ago, GagaSine said:

Take me there, I want to jump in it

Can I join?

She/Her/Hers Gender:Female
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IWasBornThisWay
47 minutes ago, GagaSine said:

Take me there, I want to jump in it

so I’m not the only one, right? I always thought black holes were magnificent and way too interesting that looking at them makes me want to jump into one 😂

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Chromatislaps

Next time, please ask me for consent before publishing my pictures.... my hole feels exposed :neyde:

Edited by Chromatislaps
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PlasticWeave

that's not the real image btw it's been added to

blackhole.png?itok=THJrwcHP

 

edit: i think? they say its new in the article but we wont get a clearer real image until the james telescope at least im pretty sure?

Edited by PlasticWeave
poordat
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Economy

I still believe in planck stars more than the traditional singularity black hole :coffee:

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FfFfFfFF
6 minutes ago, PlasticWeave said:

that's not the real image btw it's been added to

blackhole.png?itok=THJrwcHP

 

edit: i think? they say its new in the article but we wont get a clearer real image until the james telescope at least im pretty sure?

They said this about this picture -

m87_lo_april11_polarimetric_average_imag

The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration produced the first-ever image of a black hole, released in 2019, using radio observatories. Now astronomers are looking at the object in multiple wavelengths to tease out more of its secrets. Here, a view using polarized light allows scientists to trace the black hole's magnetic field. IMAGE BY EHT COLLABORATION

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Economy
21 minutes ago, IWasBornThisWay said:

so I’m not the only one, right? I always thought black holes were magnificent and way too interesting that looking at them makes me want to jump into one 😂

That would be like the most painful death ever :triggered:

 

Edit: @GagaSine just read ur comment, not u too :messga:

 

 

Edited by Economy
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Economy
1 hour ago, GagaSine said:

Take me there, I want to jump in it

U too :messga:

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PlasticWeave
3 minutes ago, FfFfFfFF said:

They said this about this picture -

m87_lo_april11_polarimetric_average_imag

The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration produced the first-ever image of a black hole, released in 2019, using radio observatories. Now astronomers are looking at the object in multiple wavelengths to tease out more of its secrets. Here, a view using polarized light allows scientists to trace the black hole's magnetic field. IMAGE BY EHT COLLABORATION

yeah but I'm like 90% certain that's not a completely real picture?:selena: it's a photoshopped one of the real one, the one i posted took years and thousands of images to make and the one they posted would be huge news if we could possibly get it in that quality D:

i can't find the source they got it from which is weird as its national G

Edited by PlasticWeave
poordat
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GagaSine
4 minutes ago, Economy said:

U too :messga:

I mean yeah you would die but maybe you would see incredible things so worth it I say

Or maybe the light would instantly blind you lol

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FfFfFfFF
1 minute ago, PlasticWeave said:

yeah but I'm like 90% certain that's not a completely real picture?:selena: it's a photoshopped one of the real one, the one i posted took years and thousands of images to make and the one they posted would be huge news if we could possibly get it in that quality D:

i can't find the source they got it from which is weird as its national G

From what I can tell they are acknowledging that ''it's prelucrated'' (here, a view using polarized light allows scientists to trace the black hole's magnetic field), but I'm not sure if they used Photoshop. They used real scientific data, but it's not like they zoomed in and did the picture with their phone lol. :huntyga: The source is the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

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