Black holes have been looked at and studied by scientists for a long time up to this point, but the ways through which they work have only been theorized upon. But now, the black hole inner workings were given away by magnetic fields surrounding its event horizon.
The area known as the event horizon of a black hole is simply put the point of no return for light. If light touches that area surrounding the black hole, it can no longer escape, being completely sucked in.
The supermassive black hole which was studied by researchers from the MIT Haystack Observatory is none other than the one residing in the core of our very own galaxy, the Milky Way. These types of supermassive black holes are the core of more than 50% of the galaxies currently observable by us, and the one from our galaxy is known as Sagittarius A*.
Sagittarius A* is at an immense distance from us, 25.000 light-years away from our planet Earth, and is almost 4 million times larger than our Sun. Even tough, its event horizon is one of the smaller ones found out there in regards to its width, reaching 8 million miles at its maximum width.
The team of astronomers and scientists were able to study this black hole by using the Event Horizon Telescope, a complex instrument which spans across our entire planet, formed by several radio-dishes and other pieces of equipment in order to gather a more conclusive data concerning event horizons. But the usage of this equipment would have been in vain, due to the fact that it cannot pick up the radio frequency of the event horizon itself, which is 15 micro-arcseconds across.
Fortunately, because of the way through which polarized light functions, being magnified by the black hole, it managed to reach a span of 50 micro-arcseconds, making scientists capable of recording data with the technology currently available.
By studying the data collected by the EHT, the team was able to chart the way through which the magnetic field surrounding the supermassive black hole actually functions. They discovered that it has several fluctuations in some sides of it while in other parts it present a regular pattern in its wavelengths. The team also found several smaller and more compact black holes in its vicinity, letting them see even further how exactly black holes function in our Universe.
By taking into account that black hole inner workings were given away by magnetic fields, a similar process can be applied to other black-hole centered galaxies in order to understand the evolutionary processes of the Universe as well as how exactly do black holes work, not just in theory.