This grating made it possible to detect very small details in the region around M87’s black hole.
The new image helps astrophysicists better understand how black holes propel such energetic jets into their vicinity.
- The first photo of the black hole at the center of Messier 87 was shown to the world in April 2019.
- The first photo of Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, was released in May 2022.
- A black hole is a celestial object that has an extremely large mass, only a few kilometers in diameter of the Sun, or like the Earth compressed into the head of a pin.
- Black holes are so massive that nothing escapes them, not even matter or light. So they are practically invisible, so no telescope could see them before 2019.
- There are many types of black holes. Primitives are very small in size. They would have formed during the Big Bang in the densest regions of the early universe. Intermediates oscillate between 100 and 10,000 solar masses.
- Supermassive black holes are found at the center of most galaxies, and their mass can be millions or billions of times that of the Sun.
Objects with mysterious dynamics
Although black holes are known to suck up matter in their immediate vicinity, they can also eject powerful jets of matter that extend far beyond the galaxies in which they reside.Scientists from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) who participated in the work published in the journal explain in a press release Nature (new window) (in English).
But the jet phenomena of matter are not well understood till date.
We still don’t quite understand how this happens. To study it directly, we need to observe the origin of the jet as close as possible to the black hole.says astrophysicist Ru-Chen Lu of China’s Shanghai Astronomical Observatory.
First an astronomy
First direct image of matter escaping from a black hole emerges
For the first time Insights into the phenomenon by showing how the bottom of the jet merges with matter swirling around a superfast black hole.
Until now, observations have made it possible to obtain separate images of the vicinity of the black hole and the jet, but this is the first time that these two properties have been seen together.
This new image completes the picture by simultaneously showing the region around the black hole and the jetAccording to a press release by astrophysicist Jae-Young Kim of Kyungbuk National University in South Korea and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany.
Around the shadow of a black hole
The image released by the international collaboration shows the jet emerging from near the black hole, but what astrophysicists call the black hole’s shadow.
The material surrounding the black hole heats up and emits light. The black hole bends and captures some of this light, creating a ring-like structure around the black hole visible from Earth.Researchers say.
In 2019, the image of darkness at the center of the ring (the black hole’s shadow) was first published by the Event Horizon Telescope team.
The image released today combines data taken by several radio telescopes around the world. It shows radio light emitted at a specific wavelength
The jet emerges from the emission ring surrounding the central supermassive black holeAdds astrophysicist Thomas Krichbaum of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy.
The size of the ring observed by the GMVA network is 50% larger than the Event Horizon Telescope image.
” To better understand the physical appearance of this large and thick ring, computer simulations had to be used to test different scenarios. »
The results suggest that the new image reveals more material falling toward the black hole than has been seen with the Event Horizon Telescope in the past.
The GMVA network consists of 14 radio telescopes in Europe and North America. Two other facilities are connected to GMVA: the Greenland Telescope and ALMA, in which ESO is a partner.
The information collected by these telescopes was combined using a technique called interferometry, which synchronizes the signals from these instruments spread across the Earth.
Jets under a magnifying glass
Over the next few years, this network of telescopes will collect data that will provide a better understanding of how supermassive black holes can launch powerful jets.
We plan to observe the region around the black hole at the center of M87 at different radio wavelengths to study the emission from the jet in more detail.Eduardo Rose of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy explains.
Scientists simultaneously believe these observations make it possible
Unravel the complex processes taking place near a supermassive black hole.
The coming years will be exciting to learn more about what goes on near one of the most mysterious regions of the universe.Eduardo Rose concludes.