A glimpse of the magnetic field around a black hole

December 07, 2017

A sudden flare and cooling of gas around a black hole in a binary system has offered astronomers a rare opportunity to measure the system's magnetic field, finding it weaker than expected. Observations of black holes consuming material ripped from a nearby star reveal that these binary systems amass material into an accretion disk. Above this disk lies an accretion disk coronae (ADC), the behavior of which is governed by its magnetic field. Understanding the magnetic field within the ADC is important because it affects the flow of gas around a black hole, yet there have been very few measurements of such fields to date. On 15 June, 2015, astronomers detected a sudden flare from a binary system called V404 Cygni, which contains a black hole. They quickly mobilized radio, infrared, optical, and X-ray telescopes to collect data during the two week-long outburst. Yigit Dallilar et al. examined moments when there was a sudden drop in the system's electromagnetic radiation as the ADC cooled, allowing them to measure V404 Cygni's magnetic field, finding it was substantially weaker than expected. The precise measurements derived from this event will help constrain models of how black holes consume material, the authors say.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Black Hole Articles from Brightsurf:

Black hole or no black hole: On the outcome of neutron star collisions
A new study lead by GSI scientists and international colleagues investigates black-hole formation in neutron star mergers.

The black hole always chirps twice: New clues deciphering the shape of black holes
A team of gravitational-wave scientists led by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) reveal that when two black holes collide and merge, the remnant black hole 'chirps' not once, but multiple times, emitting gravitational waves--intense ripples in the fabric space and time--that inform us about its shape.

Wobbling shadow of the M87 black hole
New analysis from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration reveals the behavior of the supermassive black hole in the center of the M87 galaxy across multiple years, indicating the crescent-like shadow feature appears to be wobbling.

How to have a blast like a black hole
Scientists at Osaka University have created magnetized-plasma conditions similar to those near a black hole using very intense laser pulses.

Black hole collision may have exploded with light
Astronomers have seen what appears to the first light ever detected from a black hole merger.

Black hole's heart still beating
The first confirmed heartbeat of a supermassive black hole is still going strong more than ten years after first being observed.

Black hole team discovers path to razor-sharp black hole images
A team of researchers have published new calculations that predict a striking and intricate substructure within black hole images from extreme gravitational light bending.

Planets around a black hole?
Theoreticians in two different fields defied the common knowledge that planets orbit stars like the Sun.

Black hole mergers: Cooking with gas
Gravitational wave detectors are finding black hole mergers in the universe at the rate of one per week.

Going against the flow around a supermassive black hole
At the center of a galaxy called NGC 1068, a supermassive black hole hides within a thick doughnut-shaped cloud of dust and gas.

Read More: Black Hole News and Black Hole Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.