Scientists Share New Photo Of First-Ever Black Hole To Be Photographed

Niamh Shackleton

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Scientists Share New Photo Of First-Ever Black Hole To Be PhotographedEHT Collaboration

Scientists have shared new photos of the first black hole to have ever been photographed.

The black hole is located in the centre of a galaxy named the Messier 87 – or M87 for short – around 55 million light-years away from Earth.

The first image of the black hole was unveiled in 2019, but this new photograph shows the cosmic body in polarised light.

Similar to the effects of polarised sunglasses, the polarised light used for the black hole images give a clearer and sharper image while reducing the glare from the light.

European Southern Observatory

Scientists hope that the new photos will help them measure the polarisation and understand how magnetic fields can operate at such a close proximity to black holes, reported the Independent.

This in turn would help researchers learn more about the jets that are launched from the core of black hole’s galaxy.

Multiple studies have since been published today, March 24, about the black hole, CNN reports.

Discussing the role of magnetic fields and what polarised light tells scientists, Sara Issaoun, one of the studies’ co-authors and a doctoral student in astrophysics at Radboud University in the Netherlands, said, ‘Polarised light tells us about magnetic fields near the black hole, how strong they are and how they connect the black hole’s accretion (eating habits) and the jet of plasma it’s able to eject out of the entire galaxy.’

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She further explained:

Magnetic fields are a key element to understanding gas processes and feeding habits of black holes, and this is the very first time we’re able to see them at play so close to a black hole event horizon.

An event horizon is a boundary of a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can cross.

It’s believed these new, polarised images show that the black hole’s magnetic field is actively pushing back. The field is created to ‘play a role in how the gas moves, how turbulent it is, and how much gas can make it to the black hole and how much gets flung out at nearly the speed of light in an outflow or jet’, Issaoun said.

She added that the production of the jets of plasma is ‘the most powerful and energetic process in the entire universe’.

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Topics: Science, Black Hole, Now, Research


Independent and 1 other
  1. Independent


  2. CNN

    New image reveals supermassive black hole's swirling magnetic field

Niamh Shackleton
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