New images of the first ever-photographed black hole could finally illuminate the origins of mysterious cosmic rays that shoot through space with the speed of light.
A series of new images show the black hole – called M78 – showing it shooting jets that produce light spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from invisible radio waves, to visible light, to superelectric radioactive gamma rays.
These findings suggest that each black hole has a unique pattern based on the light it produces, and identifying this pattern could help reveal what exactly drives the jets of particles firing from the core of M87.
Scientists suspect that such jets or radio rays could cause the high-energy cosmic particles to travel millions of miles through space and hit the Milky Way. Some also end up knocking into the Earth’s atmosphere.
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Scientists released the first image of a black hole in April 2019 and now new data reveals ‘unprecedented’ insights into the galaxy’s famous monster M87
Sera Markoff, of the University of Amsterdam, told National Geographic: ‘One of the main questions we’re trying to explore is where the high-energy particles come from.
‘How these jets are launched, what’s in them, and how high-energy cosmic rays are accelerating – which appear to be derived from black hole jets.’
The center of Messier 87 (M87), where the supermassive black hole sits, is about 55 million light-years away from Earth.
On April 10, 2019, the team behind the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) revealed the results of its first observation, which produced the first image of a black hole.
A series of new images show M78’s supermassive black hole firing jets that produce light spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to visible light to gamma rays.
While black holes are invisible by nature, the very hot material swirling in their middle forms a ring of light around the perimeter that reveals the mouth of the object itself based on its silhouette.
This boundary is known as the horizon of events – and that has been captured in the picture.
“We saw what we thought was invisible,” EHT director Sheperd Doeleman said as he introduced the glowing orange ring that is the object in the center of Messier 87 (M87) – and our first direct look at a black hole.
The success added significant support to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and provided more information to answer long-standing questions about the nature of black holes. Now new images of the black hole could hold these answers, it is hoped.
Kazuhiro Hada of Japan’s National Astronomical Observatory said: “We knew the first direct image of a black hole would be innovative.”
‘But to get the most out of this remarkable picture, we need to know all we can about the black hole’s behavior at the time, observing over the entire electromagnetic spectrum.’
These findings suggest that each black hole has a unique pattern based on the intensity of light it produces, and identifying this pattern could reveal the properties that power the giant water of particles exiting the core of M87.
The center of Messier 87 (M87), where the supermassive black hole sits, is about 55 million light-years away from Earth. On April 10, 2019, the team behind the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) revealed the results of its first observation, which produced the first image of a black hole.
This is the largest simultaneous observation campaign ever conducted on a supermassive black hole with jets, according to the U.S. space agency.
The NASA telescopes involved included the Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Combining data from these 2017 telescopes and current EHT observations, scientists found that the intensity of electromagnetic radiation produced by a material around the M87’s supermassive black hole was the lowest ever attested.
Although scientists aim to discover the behavior of black holes, they hope it could reveal the origin of the energy particles called cosmic rays that are continuously bombarding the Earth from outer space.
Scientists suspect that such jets could cause the high-energy cosmic particles to travel millions of miles through space and hit the Milky Way – an event hitting the Earth’s atmosphere (stock)
The massive jets that fire from black holes produce energies that can be millions of times higher than what can be produced in the most powerful accelerator on Earth, the Large Hadron Collider.
And they align with the energy observed in the most high-energy cosmic rays.
However, researchers note that more work is needed to answer some questions such as precise locations where the particles are accelerating.
The data captured in 2017 excludes the idea of a product of gamma rays near the event horizon – if in fact black holes are the real source.
A key to resolving this debate will be a comparison to the 2018 observations and the new data collected this week.
“Understanding the particle acceleration is really central to our understanding of the EHT image and the jets, in all their‘ colors, ’” Markoff said.
Using a number of telescopes, the giant team was able to observe the black hole of M87 using different techniques. One telescope detected the cosmic giant in visible light, another ultraviolet light and the end shows that it was fired by gamma rays (pictured)
The images show the black hole of M78 through other radio telescope tables from around the world, which was done in collaboration with 19 observations, on and around the Earth, and the work of more than 750 scientists.
Together they hope to better understand how magnetic fields, particles, gravity and radiation interact close to a black hole.
Using a number of telescopes, the giant team was able to observe the black hole of M87 using different techniques.
One telescope detected the cosmic giant in visible light, another ultraviolet light and the final one shows the black hole by gamma rays.
The combination of data from these telescopes and current (and future) EHT observations will allow scientists to make important lines of research on some of the most significant and challenging fields of study in astrophysics.
For example, scientists plan to use this data to improve tests on Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
Currently the main obstacles to these tests are uncertainties about the material revolving around the black hole and exploding into jets, especially the properties that determine the emitted light.
GENERAL THEORY OF RELATIONSHIP OF EINSTEIN
Albert Einstein (pictured) published his General Theory of Relatives in 1915
In 1905, Albert Einstein determined that the laws of physics were the same for all non-accelerating observers, and that the speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers – known as the theory of special relativity.
This pioneering work introduced a new framework for all physics, and proposed new concepts of space and time.
He then spent 10 years trying to include an advancement in the theory, finally publishing his theory of general relativity in 1915.
This has determined that massive objects cause distortion in spacetime that is felt as gravity.
Most simply, it can be thought of as a giant rubber sheet with a bowling ball in the center.
On the picture are the original historical documents related to Einstein’s prediction of the existence of gravitational waves, shown at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
As the ball misplaces the cloth, a planet bends the fabric of spacetime, creating the force we feel as gravity.
Every object that approaches the body falls to it because of the effect.
Einstein predicted that if two massive bodies came together, it would create such a huge surge in space time that it could be detectable on Earth.
It was shown recently in the hit film Interstellar.
In a segment that saw the crew visit a planet that had fallen into the gravitational grip of a huge black hole, the event caused time to slow down.
Crews on the planet have barely aged while those on the ship were decades older on their return.