Almost two years have passed since astronomers received the first ever photograph of a black hole. At the same time, the data that served as the foundation for the creation of the photograph was obtained back in 2017, that is, it took two years to process them.
And it took two more years to supplement that very photo with new details.
First, the photo has become more detailed. Secondly, the photo is presented in polarized light. Thirdly, and this is already important for scientists, a strong magnetic field was found near the black hole, the structure of which can be seen in the new photo. Of course, previously the presence of highly magnetized gas around such objects was predicted by many models and indirectly confirmed by various observations, but now this has been confirmed thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) data. In addition, scientists speculate that the magnetic fields at the inner edge of the accretion disk around the black hole are strong enough to repel hot gas and help it resist the object’s monstrous gravity.
By the way, a byproduct of further study of the data was the determination by scientists of the amount of matter that the black hole in the heart of Messier 87 absorbs. It turned out that this is only about 0.001 times the mass of the Sun per year.