Menu

Preston’s university astronomer helps uncover new black hole research

Posted on - 28th March, 2024 - 8:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, Preston News, UCLan
This image shows the polarised view of the Milky Way black hole

A University of Central Lancashire astronomer has been involved in research which has unveiled Milky Way magnetic fields.

An international team of astronomers, including those from UCLan, has uncovered strong magnetic fields spiralling from the edge of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*).

Produced by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, a magnetic field structure strikingly similar to that of the black hole at the centre of the M87 galaxy has been revealed suggests that strong magnetic fields may be common to all black holes.

Read more: UCLan student makes discovery that challenges our understanding of the universe

This similarity also hints toward a hidden jet in Sagittarius A*. The results were published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Professor Derek Ward-Thompson from UCLan’s Jeremiah Horrocks Institute is a key member of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration and is the communicating author for these latest publications.

He said: “This is a very exciting set of results that allow us to plot the magnetic field around the immediate environment of a black hole.

“The comparison with our previous results on M87* is particularly interesting because M87* is about a thousand times more massive, and yet the magnetic fields of the two appear remarkably similar. This is pointing to fundamental underlying truth about the processes surrounding black holes in general. This is a huge leap forward.”

Read more: UCLan commissions sculpture of astronomer who changed our view of the solar system

Sara Issaoun, NASA Hubble Fellowship Program Einstein Fellow at the Centre for Astrophysics Harvard & Smithsonian and co-lead of the project said: “What we’re seeing now is that there are strong, twisted, and organized magnetic fields near the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.

“Along with Sgr A* having a strikingly similar polarization structure to that seen in the much larger and more powerful M87* black hole, we’ve learned that strong and ordered magnetic fields are critical to how black holes interact with the gas and matter around them.”

The EHT has conducted several observations since 2017 and is scheduled to observe Sgr A* again in April 2024.

Each year, the images improve as the EHT incorporates new telescopes, larger bandwidth, and new observing frequencies.

Subscribe: Keep in touch directly with the latest headlines from Blog Preston, join our WhatsApp channel and subscribe for our twice-a-week email newsletter. Both free and direct to your phone and inbox.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

Share
Preston in pictures Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024Preston City Mela 2024 View more
Advertisement
Subscribe to the newsletter

Sign up below to receive Blog Preston's email newsletter. It wings its way into inboxes every Sunday and Wednesday rounding up our top stories and more.

Advertisement
News by location

Find news by location, select an area of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.

The Preston Guide

Discover local businesses and services near you.

Advertisement
Categories

Find news by category, select an category of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.

Blog Preston email updates

Receive our digest of the biggest and best stories every Sunday to your email inbox

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time from our emails