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Resolved magnetic-field structure and variability near the event horizon of Sagittarius A*

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Science  04 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6265, pp. 1242-1245
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac7087

Magnetic fields near the event horizon

Astronomers have long sought to examine a black hole's event horizon—the boundary around the black hole within which nothing can escape. Johnson et al. used sophisticated interferometry techniques to combine data from millimeter-wavelength telescopes around the world. They measured polarization just outside the event horizon of Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. The polarization is a signature of ordered magnetic fields generated in the accretion disk around the black hole. The results help to explain how black holes accrete gas and launch jets of material into their surroundings.

Science, this issue p. 1242