Complex algorithms recognized clear ring light created by photons hitting the back supermassive black hole in clear confirmation of the theoretical prediction.
When scientists released the first historical image of this black hole in 2019, which was dark core at the center of the galaxy M-87 surrounded by a fiery aura of material falling on it, they believed that even richer images and ideas could be extracted from the data.
The simulation predicted that, hidden behind the glow From the scattered orange glow, there should be a thin, bright ring of light created by photons ejected around the back of the black hole by its strong gravity.
gravity in a hole
A team of researchers led by astrophysicist Avery Broderick at the University of Waterloo has now been able to “solve the fundamental signature gravity around a black hole“, – he said. – We turned off the spotlight to see the fireflies”, he added in his statement.
Essentially, by “peeling off” image elements, says co-author Hung-Yi Pu, an assistant professor at National Taiwan Normal University, “one can clearly reveal the environment around a black hole.”
To do this, the team used new visualization algorithm as part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) THEMIS analysis to isolate and extract the distinctive ring feature of the initial observations of the M87 black hole, and to detect the tell-tale signature of a powerful jet emerging from the black hole.
The findings of the researchers confirm the theoretical predictions and suggest new ways to explore these mysterious objectswhich are believed to be at the center of most galaxies.
For a long time, black holes were thought to be invisible until scientists pulled them out of hiding with the help of the worldwide network of EHT telescopes. Using eight observatories on four continents, they all point to the same point in the sky and are linked to each other nanosecond synchronization; EHT researchers observed two black holes in 2017.
at the center of galaxies
The EHT collaboration showed for the first time supermassive black hole in M87 in 2019 and then, in 2022, a relatively small but noisy black hole at the heart of our own Milky Way galaxy, named the Sagittarius A star. Supermassive black holes occupy the centers of most galaxies, packing an incredible amount of mass and energy into a small space. The black hole M87, for example, is two thousand trillion times more massive than Earth.
The scientists’ 2019 image of M87 was a milestone, but the researchers felt they could improve the image and gain new knowledge by working smarter, not harder. They used new methods original data recovery software from 2017 in search of phenomena that theories and models predicted, hiding just under the surface.
The resulting new image shows a ring of photons, consisting of a series of increasingly sharp subringswhich the team then added together to get the full picture.
“The approach we took was to use our theoretical understanding of what these black holes look like to create a custom model for the EHT data,” said Dominique Pesce, team member at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard and the Smithsonian Institution. “This model splits the reconstructed image into the two parts that we are most interested in so that we can study both parts separately rather than combining them.”
The result was possible because the EHT is “a computational tool at its core,” Broderick said. “They are dependent on algorithms like steel. Modern algorithmic developments have allowed us to test key image features and render the rest at native EHT resolution.”