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Earth sized telescope sees galactic black hole....

7 Dec 2015, 07:57 UTC
Earth sized telescope sees galactic black hole....
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Event Horizon telescope 'sees' back hole magnetic fields The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is still under construction, but when it's fully built it will be a global network of radio telescopes that link together to function as one giant, Earth-sized telescope. It will be able to spot an orange on the surface of the Moon ( A radio transmitting orange at least*). But even now, half built, EHT has resolved features at the horizon of our galaxy's central black hole 26,000 light-years away from Earth. Specifically it has used the polarisation of the light coming from hot matter right up close to the hole to learn about the magnetic fields around it. "Because of technical advances with the EHT, we can now detect this polarization information. And because the emission near Sgr A* is synchrotron radiation, the direction of linear polarization traces the magnetic fields. So that's how we can go from measuring polarization at the telescope to understanding magnetic fields near the black hole," says EHT researcher Michael Johnson. They also found that the magnetic fields fluctuated on short time scales of only 15 minutes or so. "Once again, the galactic center is proving to be a more dynamic place than we ...

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