Black holes

The area around the supermassive black hole of the galaxy M87 in polarized light

Two articles published in “The Astrophysical Journal Letters” report different aspects of a study that led to the representation of the area around the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy M87 in polarized light. Scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration used data collected in 2017 to obtain a new image that offers new information on the structure of the magnetic fields around the supermassive black hole. A third article published in the same journal reports the details of the observations conducted with the ALMA radio telescope during the 2017 observation campaign.

Artist's representation of P172+18 (Image ESO/M. Kornmesser)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” reports the discovery of the farthest radio-loud quasar. A team of researchers led by Chiara Mazzucchelli, a Fellow at ESO in Chile, and Eduardo Bañados of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy used various telescopes to identify the quasar cataloged as PSO J172.3556+18.7734 and simply called P172+18. This quasar is about 13 billion years old and that means we see it as it was when the universe was very young, less than 800 million years after the Big Bang. It can offer new insights into the primordial universe and the objects its emissions passed through to reach Earth.

The globular cluster NGC 6397 seen by Hubble (Image NASA, ESA, and T. Brown and S. Casertano (STScI). Acknowledgement: NASA, ESA, and J. Anderson (STScI))

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” reports evidence of the presence of a group of black holes in the globular cluster NGC 6397. Eduardo Vitral and Gary A. Mamon of the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (IAP) used observations conducted with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gaia space probe to study the core of NGC 6397 expecting to find evidence of the presence of an intermediate-mass black hole that was a hidden mass, but the analyzes of the star movements within the cluster indicated the presence of various stellar-mass black holes.

The galaxy ESO 253-G003 seen by the MUSE instrument (Michael Tucker (University of Hawai’i) and the AMUSING survey)

An article under review for publication reports a study on the galaxy ESO 253-G003 that classifies it among the ones with an active galactic nucleus that is consuming a star orbiting the central supermassive black hole. A team of researchers led by Anna Payne of the University of Hawaii used observations conducted with various telescopes to study the phenomenon, cataloged as ASASSN-14ko, detecting a series of regular cosmic outbursts that were interpreted as energy emissions linked to the passage of a star too close to the black hole, which destroys a part of it at each orbit.

The blazar PSO J0309+27 (Image Spingola et al.; Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF.)

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” reports a study on the blazar PSO J030947.49+271757.31, or simply PSO J0309+27, the farthest ever identified being about 12.8 billion light-years from Earth. A team of researchers led by astrophysics Cristiana Spingola of the University of Bologna and associated with the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics used the VLBA radio telescope to study PSO J0309+27, discovering details in a jet of materials ejected at about three quarters of the speed of light that spans about 1,600 light-years.