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BHI Fellows Reveal Strong Magnetic Fields Around the Supermassive Black Hole in M87

Two postdocs at the Black Hole Initiative, Freek Roelofs and Angelo Ricarte, have been involved in some groundbreaking results released today. Their measurements demonstrate the presence of spiraling light – or circular polarization – providing more conclusive evidence of strong magnetic fields around the supermassive black hole in the elliptical galaxy M87.

The two papers describing these results have just been published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. One of the papers was led by Freek Roelofs, a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), a part of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA). The other paper is by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration. Several other people, currently or formerly at the BHI, also collaborated on both papers.

Read the full press release by the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian.

Computer simulation of a black hole surrounded by a magnetically arrested disk.
Image Credit: George Wong (IAS)

Beyond the Horizon. Join us for the 6th Annual Black Hole Initiative Conference.

May 17-19, 2023

Sheraton Commander Hotel, Cambridge, MA USA

Crossing the horizons of Black Hole Studies from the perspective of Astrophysics, Physics, Mathematics, Philosophy, and History of Science. Featuring: Alejandro Castro, Andrew Cristofoli, Andrea Puhm, Andrew MacFayden, Ann C. Thresher, Caitlin Witt, Chris Akers, Daniel Harlow, Elena Giorgi, Eleni Kontou, Erin Kara, Jan Sbierski, Jeremy Butterfield, Jessica Lu, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Laura Cadonati, Lorenzo Sironi, Lynn Grimwell, Michael Johnson, Natalie Paquette, Roland Bittleston, Smander Naoz, Suvi Gezari, Vijay Balasubramanian, and more!