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Unveiling the Polarized Cosmos: Researchers Capture First Image of Magnetic Fields around Milky Way’s Sagittarius A* Black Hole

New view of the magnetic fields surrounding the black hole in the Milky Way

Unveiling the Polarized Cosmos: Researchers Capture First Image of Magnetic Fields around Milky Way’s Sagittarius A* Black Hole

In a remarkable discovery, researchers at the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) have captured the first ever polarized light image of the magnetic fields around the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. This groundbreaking image reveals organized and powerful spirals of magnetic fields emanating from the black hole.

The structure of these magnetic fields bears an astonishing resemblance to those observed around black holes in other galaxies, including M87, hinting at the possibility that strong magnetic fields may be a universal characteristic of all black holes. The research involved over 300 scientists from various continents who worked together to study Sgr A* in polarized light.

Scientists had previously unveiled the first image of Sgr A* in 2019, which showed similarities with the black hole in M87 despite being much smaller and less massive than it. To further investigate these similarities, researchers decided to study Sgr A* using polarized light. The data collected indicates that strong magnetic fields may be enabling the black hole to launch powerful jets of material, similar to what was observed in M87.

This discovery provides valuable insights into the structure and strength of magnetic fields near black holes, shedding light on their feeding and expulsion mechanisms. Imaging black holes with polarized light presents challenges due to their highly distorted light bending properties, but this data suggests that strong magnetic fields may be a universal characteristic of all black holes. While there is uncertainty about whether a jet exists around Sgr A*, its presence raises intriguing possibilities for further research into cosmic phenomena.

The collaboration between telescopes worldwide forming EHT played a pivotal role in these groundbreaking observations, underscoring the importance of international cooperation in advancing our knowledge of the universe.

In conclusion, this discovery marks a significant milestone in our understanding of black holes and opens up new avenues for research into these fascinating celestial objects.

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