Supermassive black holes at the core of maximum galaxies, counting ours, have an insanely tough gravitational pull. Moreover, voraciously destroying matter, they also create jets of ultra-high-speed particles that discharge outward. Now, researchers have discovered that magnetic fields, which have constantly been measured to be a much weaker force, play a surprising, and remarkable, part in those black hole dynamics. After observing dozens of black holes, a group directed by Mohammad Zamaninasab of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy found that magnetic field strength matched the force created by the black holes’ great pull. It’s equivalent in strength to those created inside MRI machines in hospitals, that’s approximately 10,000 times greater than the field of Earth itself.
Twin jets are also shown with magnetic field lines. Image Credit: Alexander Tchekhovskoy,
This is the first time anybody has methodically measured the strength of magnetic fields close to the black holes, Coauthor Alexander Tchekhovskoy of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in a press release, says. “This is important because we had no idea, and now we have evidence from not just one, not just two, but from 76 black holes.” Previous models have recommended that a black hole could withstand a magnetic field that’s as strong as its gravity, but there hadn’t been observational indication to support this expectation. With the two forces matching out, a gas cloud caught on top of the magnetic field would be safe from the gravity’s pull, and it should just float in place. The work was issued in Nature this week. The magnetic field strength was established by proof from jets of gas shooting away from supermassive black holes; these jets are made by magnetic fields, and they create a radio emission. ,” Zamaninasab in a news release, explains “We realized that the radio emission from a black hole's jets can be used to measure the magnetic field strength in the immediate vicinity of the black hole itself,”
By examining pre-existing radio-emission data, earlier collected using the Very Long Baseline Array, the team formed radio-emission maps at various wavelengths. The changes in jet features among altered maps permitted them to calculate the field strength near the black hole.
Tchekhovskoy explains “The magnetic fields are strong enough to dramatically alter how gas falls into black holes and how gas produces outflows that we do observe, much stronger than what has usually been assumed. We need to go back and look at our models once again.”
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