When scientists unveiled humanity's historic first image of a black hole in 2019 -- depicting a dark core encircled by a fiery aura of material falling toward it -- they believed even richer imagery and insights were waiting to be teased out of the data.
Simulations predict that, obscured by that bright orange glow, there should exist a thin, bright ring of light created by photons flung around the back of the black hole by its intense gravity.
Now, a team of researchers has combined theoretical predictions and sophisticated imaging algorithms to "remaster" the original imagery of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy M87*, first captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) in 2019. Their findings, published today in The Astrophysical Journal, are consistent with theoretical predictions and offer new ways to explore these mysterious objects, which are believed to reside at the hearts of most galaxies.
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