The bright jets of energy and matter emerging from the core of M87 and spreading at least 5000 light years from its center are one of the most mysterious and energetic features of the galaxy. Most of the matter that is near the edge of a black hole falls into it. However, some of the surrounding particles escape shortly before being captured and are thrown far into space in the form of jets. However, this process has not yet been fully understood.
Strongly magnetized gas
With the new EHT image of the black hole and its shadow in polarized light, it was possible for the first time to look into the region just outside the black hole, in which this interplay between incoming and ejected matter takes place. These observations would provide new information about the structure of the magnetic fields just outside the black hole. The team found that only theoretical models with strongly magnetized gas can explain what they see at the event horizon.
“The observations suggest that the magnetic fields at the edge of the black hole are strong enough to push back the hot gas and help it withstand gravity. Only the gas that slips through the field can spiral inward to the event horizon, ”explains Jason Dexter, coordinator of an EHT working group.