Picture of black hole M87
Picture of black hole M87

Polarisation around Black Holes

2015 until 2025
Project type

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a global effort to construct an Earth-sized virtual radio telescope array that can be used for making pictures and films of two neighbouring supermassive black holes. Detailed theoretical models of black holes will now be needed to correctly interpret these new observations. Together with her research group, Moscibrodzka is developing computer simulations of black holes that allow us to understand how black holes interact with their environment.

Production of energetic magnetic jets

Moscibrodzka’s group is focusing on building numerical codes and modelling the polarisation of light that is emitted in the strong gravitational fields of a black hole. In comparison to light intensity, the light polarisation carries more detailed information about the physical conditions and properties of the magnetic fields to which emitting plasma is bound. For example, light polarisation can teach us how black holes produce the energetic magnetic jets that we observe in many black hole systems.

Within the EHT collaboration, Moscibrodzka is leading an international research group that is analysing the polarisation in all of the EHT data sets. Important new results of the ring around the black hole in the M87 galaxy were published in March 2021. The polarimetric images of the M87 ring suggest that the magnetic fields near the black hole could be strong enough to prevent matter from falling under the Event Horizon formation of a jetted outflow. This discovery will provide astrophysicists with a clearer understanding of the first image of a black hole, which was produced in 2019.



The EHT Collaboration et al., First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. VII. Polarization of the Ring, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 910, L12, http://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/abe71d

The EHT Collaboration et al., First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. VIII. Magnetic Field Structure near The Event Horizon, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 910, L13, http://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/abe4de

Goddi, Martí-Vidal, Messias, et al. (EHT Collaboration): Polarimetric properties of Event Horizon Telescope targets from ALMA, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 910, L14, http://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/abee6a



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