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APOD: 2024 April 1 Swirling Magnetic Field around Our Galaxys Central Black Hole
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APOD: 2024 April 1  Swirling Magnetic Field around Our Galaxys Central Black Hole
Credit & Copyright: EHT Collaboration
Explanation: What's happening to the big black hole in the center of our galaxy? It is sucking in matter from a swirling disk -- a disk that is magnetized, it has now been confirmed. Specifically, the black hole's accretion disk has recently been seen to emit polarized light, radiation frequently associated with a magnetized source. Pictured here is a close-up of Sgr A*, our Galaxy's central black hole, taken by radio telescopes around the world participating in the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration. Superposed are illustrative curved lines indicating polarized light likely emitted from swirling magnetized gas that will soon fall into the 4+ million mass central black hole. The central part of this image is likely dark because little light-emitting gas is visible between us and the dark event horizon of the black hole. Continued EHT monitoring of this and M87's central black hole may yield new clues about the gravity of black holes and how infalling matter creates disks and jets.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: Galactic Center - black hole
Publications with words: Galactic Center - black hole
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