M87’s Central Black Hole in Polarized Light
Image Credit:
Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration; Text: Jayanne English (U. Manitoba)

Explanation: To play on Carl Sagan’s famous words “If you wish to make black hole jets, you must first create magnetic fields.” The featured image represents the detected intrinsic spin direction (polarization) of radio waves. The polarizationi is produced by the powerful magnetic field surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of elliptical galaxy M87. The radio waves were detected by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which combines data from radio telescopes distributed worldwide. The polarization structure, mapped using computer generated flow lines, is overlaid on EHT’s famous black hole image, first published in 2019. The full 3-D magnetic field is complex. Preliminary analyses indicate that parts of the field circle around the black hole along with the accreting matter, as expected. However, another component seemingly veers vertically away from the black hole. This component could explain how matter resists falling in and is instead launched into M87’s jet.

Tomorrow’s picture: launch below

Event Horizo​​n Telescope Collaboration; 文稿: Jayanne English (U. Manitoba)

说明: 蕯根的名言之一如是说:「想要制造黑洞喷流,得先有磁场。」 这幅经由侦测无线电波的内蕴极化方向,进而建构出的主题影像,揭示在椭圆星系M87核心的超大质量黑洞周围,有强大的磁场造成星光的极化。组成这幅影像的电波数据,则来自事件视界望远镜(EHT),并结合了来自世界各地电波望远镜的其他数据。其中,以电脑产生的流线呈现之极化结构,叠合于事件视界望远镜在2019年发布的著名影像之上。完整的3维磁场结构极为复杂。不过初步的分析显示,如预期有部分的磁场和吸积的物质一同旋绕黑洞。然而,还有其他的磁场分量看似垂直黑洞外指。这个磁场分量可解释为何物质为何没内坠,反而形成M87的外泛喷流。

明日的图片: launch below