News 5.11.2014

MAGIC Telescopes observe A Lightning Inferno at the Event Horizon of a Black Hole

The MAGIC Telescopes captured an extreme event coming from the regions immediately surrounding a supermassive black hole located in the heart of the radio galaxy IC310. During the extraordinary outburst of gamma rays the source showed the very rapid flux variations. Ancillary observations using the European VLBI network of radio telescopes showed a remarkably straight plasma jet emerging from the vicinity of a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.  The flickering of the gamma-ray flare on time scales of less than five minutes shows that it originated from a region smaller than the event horizon of the black hole. The finding supports the idea that the observed emission was due to particles accelerated in an extremely narrow region located near the event horizon of the black hole and permeated by strong electric fields. Such structures are expected to form near rapidly-spinning black holes that power radio jets by their rotational energy loss.

This exceptional result obtained by using the MAGIC and EVN telescopes has been published on the issue of November 6th, 2014 of magazine Science Express: