NSF Telescopes Image M87’s Supermassive Black Hole and Massive Jet Together for the First Time

Observations also revealed that the supermassive black hole’s ring is bigger than imagined

Scientists observing the compact radio core of M87 have discovered new details about the galaxy’s supermassive black hole. In this artist’s conception, the black hole’s massive jet is seen rising up from the center of the black hole. The jet was born from energy created by the magnetic fields surrounding the spinning core of the black hole and winds rising up from the black hole’s accretion disk. The observations represent the first time that the jet and the black hole have been imaged together, giving scientists new context into the compact radio core of M87. These observations also revealed that the black hole’s ring is 50% larger than previously believed. Credit: S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Scientists studying the supermassive black hole at the heart of the M87 galaxy have revealed the origins of the monster’s powerful jet and imaged the jet and its source together for the first time. What’s more, the observations have revealed that the black hole’s ring is much larger than scientists previously believed. The observations published today in Nature.

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Radio interference from satellites is threatening astronomy

A proposed zone for testing new technologies could head off the problem.

Image credit: Jay Young
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Are we alone in the universe? UCLA astronomers enlist the public to find out

Anyone can help classify radio signals from the Green Bank Telescope that could reveal existence of intelligent life elsewhere

Artist’s depiction of Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone. A project launched by UCLA scientists will enlist members of the public to identify possible signs of intelligent life elsewhere in our universe. Credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle.

Join a community that’s helping UCLA astronomers search for life in the universe using the Green Bank Telescope. UCLA SETI launched a new project to crowdsource the search for extraterrestrial civilizations. (SETI is an acronym for “search for extraterrestrial intelligence.”) 

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New Space Radar Will Hunt Planet-Threatening Asteroids

The new ngRADAR at the Green Bank Telescope offers unprecedented Earth-based views of the solar system

Credit: Kerrick/Getty Images in Scientific American.

When a baseball pitcher throws a fastball, the speed pops up on the jumbotron thanks to radar. The technology is also useful for air traffic control, highway speed traps and weather forecasting—and it’s not reserved for Earth. Astronomers have used radar to probe the planets and asteroids around us, measuring their speed as they whiz around the sun and imaging the details of their surface.

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Balancing Safety & Science in the Radio Quiet Zone

The campus of the Green Bank Observatory, photo credit Jay Young.

How do you make a 911 call in the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ)? For residents of Pocahontas County, one of the largest and most rural areas located in the NRQZ, new radio communications coverage has been introduced for first responders.

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