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

Scientists Uncover Unprecedented Magnetic Fields in Supermassive Black Hole Sgr A* at the Milky Way’s Center

In an unprecedented discovery, researchers at the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) have uncovered evidence of organized spirals of magnetic fields emanating from the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) at the center of the Milky Way. This groundbreaking observation, captured in polarized light for the first time, has revealed powerful magnetic fields around the black hole that bear a striking resemblance to those observed in M87.

The discovery, published in two articles in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, involved over 300 researchers from various continents. Previously, scientists had unveiled the first image of Sgr A* in 2022, which showed similarities with M87 despite being smaller and less massive than its counterpart. To further investigate these similarities, researchers decided to study Sgr A* in polarized light.

The observations suggest that the magnetic fields surrounding Sgr A* may be enabling it to launch powerful jets of material, as seen in M87. This finding provides valuable insights into the structure and strength of magnetic fields near black holes and sheds light on their feeding and expulsion mechanisms. While imaging black holes with polarized light presents challenges, this discovery has shown that strong magnetic fields may be a universal characteristic of black holes.

Although a jet around Sgr A* remains uncertain based on current data, the similarities between it and M87 raise intriguing possibilities for further research and understanding of these cosmic phenomena. The collaboration of telescopes worldwide forming EHT played a crucial role in these groundbreaking observations, highlighting the importance of international cooperation in advancing our knowledge of space exploration.

In conclusion, this remarkable discovery by researchers at EHT has opened up new avenues for studying supermassive black holes’ behavior and their impact on their environment. As technology continues to evolve and telescopes become more sophisticated, we can expect even more fascinating discoveries about these mysterious celestial objects that continue to captivate our imagination.

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