at the center of the M87 galaxy,
as seen in radio, visible and X-ray wavelengths
by the ALMA telescope array and NASA’s Hubble
and Chandra space telescopes, respectively.
(Image credit: The EHT Multi-wavelength Science Working Group;
the EHT Collaboration; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO);
the EVN; the EAVN Collaboration; VLBA (NRAO);
the GMVA; the Hubble Space Telescope; the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory;
the Chandra X-ray Observatory; the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array;
the Fermi-LAT Collaboration; the H.E.S.S collaboration;
the MAGIC collaboration; the VERITAS collaboration;
at the 1st
black hole ever photographed.
M87's monster black hole
continue to roll in...
Two years ago, astronomers with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project unveiled imagery of that black hole, which lies 55 million light-years from Earth and is as massive as 6.5 billion suns. Those photos were historic - the first direct views of a black hole that humanity had ever captured.
In the spring of 2017, as the EHT team was gathering some of the data that would result in the epic imagery, nearly 20 other powerful telescopes on the ground and in space were studying the M87 black hole as well.
A new study describes this huge and powerful data set, which contains observations across a wide range of wavelengths gathered by,
...as well as a number of other scopes.
That behavior includes the launching of jets, or beams of radiation and fast-moving particles rocketing outward from M87's black hole.
Astronomers think such jets are the source of the highest-energy cosmic rays, particles that zoom through the universe at nearly the speed of light.
The new data set gathers the results of the most intensive simultaneous observing campaign ever undertaken on a black hole with jets, study team members said.
So, plumbing it could yield key insights into jet dynamics and the origins of cosmic rays, among other things.
M87's core in a variety of wavelengths.
(Image credit: same as above photo)
The EHT, which links radio telescopes around the world to form a virtual instrument the size of Earth itself, is scheduled to begin observing the M87 black hole again this week after a two-year hiatus.
The project gathers data only during a short window in the Northern Hemisphere spring each year, when the weather tends to be good at its various observing sites.
Technical issues scuttled the 2019 campaign, and last year's was called off because of the coronavirus 'pandemic'...
As in previous years, the new EHT campaign will also include observations of the supermassive black hole at the heart of our own Milky Way galaxy, a 4.3-million-solar-mass object known as Sagittarius A*.
The new data could be even more revealing, because the EHT recently added three big scopes to its network:
The new study (Broadband Multi-wavelength Properties of M87 during the 2017 Event Horizon Telescope Campaign), which gathers the work of 760 scientists and engineers from nearly 200 institutions across the globe, was published online Wednesday (April 14) in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.