The First Black Hole Photo is Even More Fantastic When You Zoom Out

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The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) wasn’t the only powerful device with its gaze fixed upon galaxy Messier 87 (M87) in April 2017.

While the EHT was focused on the event horizon of the black hole at the center of M87, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was taking a wider view of the same target — and the image produced through those observations puts the black hole photo into stunning context.


Credit, X-ray: NASA/CXC/Villanova University/J. Neilsen; Radio: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

The Chandra team provided additional details on the dazzling display of bright particles captured in its black hole companion image in a blog post shared on Monday:

“While Chandra can’t see the shadow itself, its field of view is much larger than the EHT’s, so Chandra can view the full length of the jet of high-energy particles launched by the intense gravitational and magnetic fields around the black hole. This jet extends more than 1,000 light years from the center of the galaxy.”


Image Credit, X-ray: NASA/CXC/Villanova University/J. Neilsen; Radio: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

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