The Most Intimate Portrait Yet of a Black Hole

Jim1348
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Topic 225111

The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, an international team of radio astronomers that has been staring down the throat of a giant black hole for years, on Wednesday published what it called the most intimate portrait yet of the forces that give rise to quasars, the luminous fountains of energy that can reach across interstellar and intergalactic space and disrupt the growth of distant galaxies.

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Jets and lobes of radio, X-ray and other forms of energy extend more than 100,000 light-years from the black hole in M87. Much of this radiation comes from energetic electrical particles spiraling around in magnetic fields. The newly processed image allows the astronomers to trace these fields back to their origins, in a hot, chaotic ring of electrified gas, or plasma, about 30 billion miles across — four times as wide as the orbit of Pluto. That achievement is made possible because the light from the disk is partly polarized, vibrating more in one direction than in others.

“The direction and intensity of the polarization in the image tells us about the magnetic fields near the event horizon of the black hole,” said Andrew Chael, an astrophysicist at Princeton University who is part of the Event Horizon team.

Astronomers have debated for years whether the magnetic fields surrounding so-called low-luminosity black holes like M87 were weak and turbulent or “strong” and coherent. In this case, Dr. Chael said, the magnetic fields are strong enough to disrupt the fall of the gas and transfer energy from the spinning black hole to the jet.

“The E.H.T. images also provide hints that the bright jet in M87 is actually powered from the rotational energy of the black hole, which twists the magnetic fields as it rotates,” said Michael Johnson another Event Horizon member from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/science/astronomy-messier-87-black-hole.html

Mike Hewson
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What a magic picture of

What magic pictures around the "drain of doom" :

.... that jet is six thousand light years long.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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That type of structure could

That type of structure could be a good candidate for the origin of cosmic rays - those insanely high energy particles - a six thousand light year long particle accelerator !

Cheers, Mike

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Jim1348
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Mike Hewson wrote:- a six

Mike Hewson wrote:
- a six thousand light year long particle accelerator !

That is a thought.  And maybe CERN could use it.  It would save a lot of construction cost.

Mike Hewson
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Jim1348 wrote:Mike Hewson

Jim1348 wrote:

Mike Hewson wrote:
- a six thousand light year long particle accelerator !

That is a thought.  And maybe CERN could use it.  It would save a lot of construction cost.

Indeed. The LHC can achieve energies of ~1013 eV per particle whereas some cosmic rays can be about a million times more energetic than that : a single proton say, with as much energy as a well thrown baseball ! I vaguely remember an 'outlandish' order of merit calculation that implied the need for a galaxy wide accelerator to produce cosmic rays .... maybe not so crazy after all.

{ Did you know that if you travel for some hours at airliner altitude, say 10km, you will receive a dose of rather more cosmic radiation than at sea level and roughly equivalent to a low dose chest x-ray examination ? }

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Here's a good article that discusses all this.

( edit ) These 1020 eV cosmic ray protons go at a gnat's whisker under light speed or by my calculation about 0.99999999999999999999 of ie. a photon will just barely beat it. The proton's rest mass would be a tiny fraction ( ~ 10-11 ) of the total particle energy. Now that's relativistic ! :-)

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

solling2
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Jim1348 schrieb: ... Much

Jim1348 wrote:

...

Much of this radiation comes from energetic electrical particles spiraling around in magnetic fields.

...

A recent webinar providing some background:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjqtGOx5MlE

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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This picture :.... is

This picture :

.... is mildly misleading in that ( should one not read the caption published with it ) it  leads you to think you are seeing matter swirling in ( bottom right ). It isn't. It's just the chosen way of visualising their polarisation results, and a best fit model at that. A map of radio emission properties.

But it is a stunning work for sure. I predict it will make it's way onto T-shirts, coffee mugs and whatnot.

It seems M87 was chosen, at least partly, because time dilation effects near the hole made any pattern change slowly over the time that the synthetic aperture was collecting data. That's a cool bit of science.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Jim1348
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I can see the picture in my

I can see the picture in my browser (Chrome) if I right-click on it and select "Open image in new tab".

Jim1348
Jim1348
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Mike Hewson wrote: That type

Mike Hewson wrote:

That type of structure could be a good candidate for the origin of cosmic rays - those insanely high energy particles - a six thousand light year long particle accelerator !

This should help too.

https://physics.aps.org/articles/v14/41

Gary Roberts
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Mike Hewson wrote:... It's

Mike Hewson wrote:
... It's just the chosen way of visualising their polarisation results, ...

If anyone would like a nice (ie. suited to the non-astrophysicist :-) ) explanation of what the image means, this short Q&A style vid does a pretty decent job.

Cheers,
Gary.

tullio
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I cannot see the image of the

I cannot see the image of the black hole using Firefox on a Windows 10 PC with a 4 GB VideoRam GTX 1650. All  GPU GW tasks work perfectly.

Tullio

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