The Event Horizon Telescope is a global network of 11 telescopes located around the world. Two years ago, Event Horizon Telescope employees already showed what a black hole looks like. They have now supplemented the picture with polarized light to make the photo clearer and show the direction of the magnetic field, according to NewScientist.
The black hole, located at the center of the supergiant elliptical galaxy Messier 87, is 53.5 million light years distant from Earth. The researchers found that the strength of its magnetic field is 50 times the strength of the Earth's magnetic field, when measured at the poles of the planet, where it is most powerful. Charged particles of hot gas revolve around the black hole, amplifying the magnetic field.
Astrophysicists have long speculated that some black holes, including this one, spew powerful streams of matter, but how exactly they do this has long been a mystery. According to recent studies, streams are triggered and formed by magnetic fields. "Something the size of our solar system can fire a jet that pierces entire galaxies," the authors explain. In the image, these streams of matter and energy streaming from the black hole and the surrounding galaxy appear as a searchlight.