Scientists have found that one black hole had a much less powerful magnetic field than they had expected, a huge find.
Black holes have developed a reputation for being perhaps the most powerful force in the universe, but a new study finds that they’re a little bit wimpy in at least one respect. Researchers at the University of Florida have found that the magnetic fields of black holes are actually not very powerful at all.
Scientists examined the black hole known as V404 Cygni, which is situated about 8,000 light years from Earth and is about 40 miles in diameter. V404 Cygni had a rare burst that was captured by the lens mirror of the Gran Telescopio Canarias in Canary Islands, Spain, back in 2015, and scientists used this data to measure its magnetic field.
They determined that V404 Cygni’s magnetic energy was about 400 times less than scientists had estimated. It’s a tremendous discovery that could have groundbreaking implications for our knowledge of black holes and physics itself.
“Black holes are famous for their muscle: an intense gravitational pull known to gobble up entire stars and launch streams of matter into space at almost the speed of light,” reads the statement from the university. “It turns out the reality may not live up to the hype. In a paper published today in the journal Science, University of Florida scientists have discovered these tears in the fabric of the universe have significantly weaker magnetic fields than previously thought.”