Magnetic field at super massive black hole less powerful than expected: Scientists

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Magnetic field at black holes less powerful than assumed
Magnetic field at black holes less powerful than assumed

New Delhi : Black holes are famous for their exceptional capability of pulling anything through them and disappear it with its strong magnetic field; but in a latest discovery, the scientists have found out that the magnetic field at black holes is not that powerful as expected.

V404 Cygni, a black hole located nearly 8000 light years away from Earth, gave scientists an opportunity to measure the magnetic pull strength. The findings have been published in the journal Science.

The researchers found that the magnetic energy around the black hole is about 400 times lower than previous crude estimates; enabling them to understand the how black hole magnetism works.

The measurements will also help scientists solve the half-century-old mystery of how "jets" of particles traveling at nearly the speed of light shoot out of black holes' magnetic fields, while everything else is sucked into their abysses, said study co-author Stephen Eikenberry, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Florida in the US.

"Our surprisingly low measurements will force new constraints on theoretical models that previously focused on strong magnetic fields accelerating and directing the jet flows. We weren't expecting this, so it changes much of what we thought we knew," Eikenberry said.

The event was observed through the lens mirror of the 34-foot Gran Telescopio Canarias, the world's largest telescope, co-owned by UF and located in Spain's Canary Islands, with the help of its UF-built infrared camera named CIRCE (Canarias InfraRed Camera Experiment)

The 2015 outbursts of V404 Cygni lasted only a couple of weeks. The previous time the same black hole had a similar episode was in 1989.