Massive M87 blackhole 55 million light-years away is wobbling and rotating

Astronomers find a black hole that is 55 million lightyears away, wobbling and rotating. They have termed the movement of the black hole ‘interesting and helpful’.

The object known as M87, has undergone major changes with the passage of time, The Independent reported. M87, at the centre of M87 galaxy, came to limelight last year after an image was captured. It became the first ever image of the black hole to be taken by the humanity. That image was a breakthrough and helped reveal the nature of the black hole and the ring of hot plasma that surrounded it.

The latest images captured the black hole over a relatively limited time period, a one-week window. Scientists have said the time span is too short to see many of the changes happening to the object.

However, looking at the shadow for a longer time span, for four years from 2009 to 2013, researchers saw the black hole’s shadow changing over time. This was much before the world saw the first image of the black hole. Owing to lack of data, researchers took the data and used statistic models to understand how the appearance of M87 might have changed over time.

They found that the black hole behaved as expected: the crescent shape seen in the original image appears to stick around over a period of several years, the researchers were quoted as saying.

Shep Doeleman, director of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and Center for Astrophysics, had revealed the first glimpse of the black hole at the special conference broadcast by the National Science Foundation (NSF), United States of America. The M87 black hole is at the very centre of the M87 galaxy, far away from Earth.

The photograph of the black hole was captured through the EHT, which is in essence a collaboration of multiple observatory telescopes placed across the Earth. This essentially uses the power of eight radio telescopes, along with very long baseline interferometry (VLB), in order to observe the phenomena that has been represented in artist illustrations, multiple times. The NSF has also stated that the image shows the black hole shadow, which has already been explained as very difficult to capture.