The first images of a black hole in polarized light reveal the magnetic field and its interactions

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Astronomers were able to capture images of a black hole in polarized light, as the supermassive black hole in the heart of the M87 galaxy was photographed in this type of light that detects the magnetic field and its interactions at the edge of the hole for the first time, and this black hole was the first that astronomers photographed Right in 2019, new images reveal more details about the dense body, including powerful jets of energy blasting from its center.

According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail” website, the light becomes polarized when it passes through certain filters, such as the lenses of polarized sunglasses, or when it is emitted in hot areas of space where there are magnetic fields.

A black hole with polarized light
A black hole with polarized light

In the same way that polarized sunglasses help us see better by reducing reflections and glare from bright surfaces, astronomers can extend their view of the area around a black hole by looking at how the light emitted from it is polarized.

Polarization allows astronomers to map magnetic field lines at the inner edge of the black hole, as can be seen in the new image, across the bottom of the disk.

The first images of a black hole with polarized light
The first images of a black hole with polarized light

The supermassive black hole is located at the center of Messe 87, 55 million light years from Earth, and is estimated to be about 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun and emits intense jets of energy, as an international team of astronomers measured polarization, a signature of magnetic fields, near the edge of the black hole For the first time, using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

This discovery will allow future astronomers to understand the process involved in producing energetic jets from their core, as some suggest it may be related to interactions with the magnetic field itself.

Black hole
Black hole

Scientists had released the first ever image of the black hole, revealing a bright ring-like structure with a dark central region that was the shadow of the black hole, matching what was expected, and since then, the EHT team has delved into the data collected that was used to reveal the first image. They discovered that a large portion of the light around the black hole is polarized and more about its magnetic field.

In the same way that polarized sunglasses help us see better by reducing reflections and glare from bright surfaces, astronomers can extend their view of the area around a black hole by looking at how the light emitted from it is polarized.

Polarization allows astronomers to map magnetic field lines on the inside edge of the black hole, as can be seen in the new image, across the bottom of the disk.



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