Black holes are known as voracious star eaters because of their intense gravitational attraction, but when astronomers had the rare opportunity to measure the magnetic field of one of those systems, they found it weaker than expected. A black hole 40 miles wide at 8,000 light years from Earth called V404 Cygni offered astronomers the rare opportunity to measure their magnetic field accurately, according to a study published in the journal Science. The researchers found that the magnetic energy around the black hole is approximately 400 times lower than previous crude estimates. The measurements bring scientists closer to understanding the workings of black hole magnetism, deepening our understanding of how matter behaves under the most extreme conditions, knowledge that could expand the limits of nuclear fusion energy and GPS systems.
solves the half-century mystery of how "jets" of particles traveling at almost the speed of light shoot out of the magnetic fields of black holes, while everything else is absorbed by their chasms, the co-author said. study Stephen Eikenberry, professor of Astronomy at the University of Florida in the United States. "Our surprisingly low measurements will force new constraints on theoretical models that previously focused on strong magnetic fields that accelerate and direct jet streams – we did not expect this, so it changes a lot from what we thought we knew," said Eikenberry. The researchers developed the measurements from the data collected in 2015 during the outbreak of black hole jets.
The event was observed through the mirror of the 34-foot Gran Canarias Telescope located in the Canary Islands. The smallest black holes that produce jets, like the one observed for the study, are the stars of the galaxies. His outbursts occur suddenly and are ephemeral, said the study's lead author, Yigit Dalilar, of the University of Florida. The 2015 blasts of V404 Cygni lasted only a couple of weeks. The last time the same black hole had a similar episode was in 1989. "Observing it was something that happens once or twice in the race," Dalilar said.