Newly captured image shows strong magnetic fields surrounding the black hole at the center of the Milky Way

Researchers working with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) have made a groundbreaking discovery about the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. They discovered powerful and organized magnetic fields spiraling from the edge of the black hole, a structure that had never been seen before in polarized light. This new image provides crucial insights into the magnetic field structure around Sgr A*, which is strikingly similar to that of the black hole in galaxy M87.

This research was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and involved collaboration from over 300 researchers worldwide. In 2017, scientists released the first image of Sgr A*, revealing striking similarities with M87 despite their differences in size and mass. To further investigate these similarities, researchers studied Sgr A* using polarized light, which allowed them to reveal strong magnetic fields spiraling near the black hole.

Imaging black holes with polarized light is challenging due to their unpredictable changes, making it difficult to capture detailed images. However, the collaboration used cutting-edge tools and a global network of telescopes to create a virtual Earth-sized telescope called EHT to observe Sgr A* in 2017.

The study shows that both black holes share strong magnetic fields, suggesting this may be a fundamental characteristic of all black holes. While a visible jet was observed at M87, scientists have yet to find one at Sgr A*. This research contributes significantly to our understanding of magnetic fields and structures around black holes, providing valuable insights into these mysterious cosmic objects.

In conclusion, scientists working with EHT have made an important discovery about Sgr A*’s magnetic fields by observing powerful and organized spirals near its edge using polarized light. Their findings suggest that strong magnetic fields may be common among all black holes and hint at the presence of a hidden jet in Sgr A*. This research has contributed significantly to our understanding of these enigmatic cosmic objects and will continue to do so as scientists continue to explore this fascinating area of science.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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