M87's black hole is alive. One year later.

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AVAO
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M87's black hole is alive. One year later.

Post by AVAO » Sun Jan 28, 2024 7:37 am

M87*'s Event Horizon Image. One Year Later
universe today | 2024 Jan 19
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One interesting difference easily seen in the images is that the bright region of the ring has shifted counterclockwise by about 30 degrees. This is due to the accretion disk of the black hole. As the disk swirls around the black hole, its orientation wobbles, the bright spot of the ring to shift. Astronomers predicted this effect, now confirmed by the data. The amount of shift over the course of a year is consistent with the predicted orientation of the black hole’s rotation, which should have its rotational axis aligned along the powerful jet that streams away from M87.
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AVAO
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Re: M87's black hole is alive. One year later.

Post by AVAO » Wed Jan 31, 2024 5:31 pm

AVAO wrote: Sun Jan 28, 2024 7:37 am M87*'s Event Horizon Image. One Year Later
universe today | 2024 Jan 19
"In the new image, however, the brightest part of a ring surrounding the black hole has shifted counterclockwise by about 30°. That could be because of random churning in the disk of material that swirls around the black hole’s equator. It could also be associated with fluctuations in one of the jets launched from the black hole’s poles—a sign that the jet isn’t aligned with the black hole’s spin axis, but precesses around it like a wobbling top. That would be “kind of exciting,” Markoff says. “The only way to know is to keep taking pictures.”
Source: https://www.science.org/content/article ... e-confirms

Image
A comparison of M87* as seen in 2017 and 2018. Credit: The EHT Collaboration

It's interesting that the related images took 3-6 years to produce in the final version.
If the rotation of the darkening shows the rotation of the bipolar pole jets, the thing seems to have a very dynamic inner life :wink: