The New Black Hole Photo and the Torus Black Hole Model

<span class="caption">This image shows Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. </span> <span class="attribution"><a class=
EHT Collaboration photo of the Sagittarius A black hole

The new Sagittarius A black hole photo (above) from the Event Horizon Telescope is certainly what one would expect from a torus black hole (as is the earlier-released EHT image of the M87 black hole). It should be noted that this new image is essentially a side-view shot of our galaxy’s central black hole; our Earth is situated just slightly above the central plane of the galaxy. The dark, central area is obvious and clearly visible, most clearly at the top of the cylinder, but also extending downward where it is partially obscured by the material on the Earth-facing side of the black hole.

Astrophysicists rationalize the dark central column as being the “shadow of the black hole.” That does have a nice, romantic sound to it. In the Enlightening’s torus black hole view, however, the central column reflects the darkness of the torus black hole, as well as the darkness of the central void area. There is essentially no material above or below the torus black hole, including the area of the central void, for a significant distance into space, away from the torus itself. Visually, the black hole itself is a dark void, of course.

Another thing to realize is that the Sag A photo represents an averaged moment frozen in time. The scientists who imaged it were enthralled by the rapidly changing visual variation, on the order of only seconds, since the gas immediately surrounding Sag A completes an orbit in only minutes. For that reason, the final image is an averaged composite of all the images taken of the moving, bubbling black hole region.

The EHT team did not observe such quick, dynamic changes in their earlier work on M87 (below). The gas surrounding M87 takes days or weeks to complete an orbit around that much-larger black hole, simplifying the imaging process in comparison with our own Sagittarius A.

EHT Collaboration photo of the M87 black hole

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