Magnetic field of black hole measured

Pulsar near Milky Way’s center makes first assessment of this type possible

By Andrew Grant, 12:22 PM August 14, 2013

The fortuitous discovery of a stellar beacon near the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way has provided astronomers with the first direct measurement of the magnetic field surrounding a black hole. The finding, reported August 14 in Nature, supports astronomers’ hypothesis that strong magnetic fields prevent black holes from gorging on gas and dust.

In late April, two NASA space telescopes spotted a strange X-ray outburst from the galactic center that appeared every four seco...

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