A remastered image of a black hole reveals impressive new details

Remastering the image of M87*

This thin halo-like ring is obscured by the bright orange glow of the original image, but it was predicted by advanced simulations. The team’s findings, published yesterday, August 16, in The Astrophysical Journal, are consistent with the theoretical predictions, and they provide a new perspective on the cosmic giants at the center of most galaxies.

“The approach we took involved leveraging our theoretical understanding of how these black holes look to build a customized model for the EHT data,” Dominic Pesce, the study co-author, explained in Harvard’s press statement. “Our model decomposes the reconstructed image into the two pieces that we care most about so that we can study both pieces individually rather than blended together.”

Avery Broderick, who led the study, said the new “remaster” was possible because the EHT is a “computational instrument at its heart. It is as dependent on algorithms as it is upon steel. Cutting-edge algorithmic developments have allowed us to probe key features of the image while rendering the remainder in the EHT’s native resolution.”

The team behind the new development used new imaging software called THEMIS. This allowed them to isolate the thin ring from the original observations of the M87* black hole and also reveal the footprint of a powerful jet shooting out of the black hole. Essentially, the scientists removed elements from the black hole image to reveal what was behind it.

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