The European Southern Observatory released a news statement revealing an updated image of the Milky Way’s black hole.

Named Sagittarius A, the black hole had previously been captured in an image in 2022, showing a blurry orange and yellow ring around the black hole. But now that image has been updated in stunning detail.

The image was taken by the Event Horizon Telescope, which is a group of radio observatories from around the world that work together to capture black holes, per Smithsonian Magazine.

The process was difficult for the research team. According to the European Southern Observatory, black holes emit polarized light, which cannot be seen by the human eye. In order to see the light surrounding a black hole, astronomers had to capture Sagittarius A’s polarized light.

Another difficulty astronomers faced was the constant movement of Sagittarius A. The European Southern Observatory explains that Sagittarius A doesn’t stay still long enough to take a photo. Geoffrey Bower, from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, shared in the statement that “because Sgr A* moves around while we try to take its picture, it was difficult to construct even the unpolarized image.”

Unlike its previous image from 2022, astronomers and scientists were able to see the magnetic field lines of Sagittarius A, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

The black hole is described as a doughnut with swirls, per NPR. Sara Issaoun, from the NASA Hubble Fellowship Program Einstein Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics, said in a press release, “What we’re seeing now is that there are strong, twisted, and organised magnetic fields near the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.”

According to NPR, the first black hole ever imaged was from the galaxy Messier 87, also taken by the Event Horizon Telescope. Messier 87 is bigger than Sagittarius A, but scientists noticed how both black holes had similar swirls in their polarized images.

According to the European Southern Observatory, the magnetic field of Sagittarius A is similar to the one found in Messier 87, which leads scientists to suggest that strong magnetic fields could be a common feature across all black holes.

Scientists noticed that Messier 87′s black hole had a jet that ejects matter, according to Smithsonian Magazine. They hadn’t found any such jets in Sagittarius A, but due to the similarities between their magnetic fields, there is a chance one exists; it likely just hasn’t been found yet.

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