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Today I will spend most of the day looking at the Event Horizon Telescope image of Sgr A*!

This is the first direct image of the emission immediately outside of our Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole!!!

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I don’t know what this is or what I’m doing but:
Hi! 👋🏼 I’m Adi Foord. I study the activity supermassive black holes and focus mostly on systems that are in the process of merging 😮. I love X-ray astrophysics and created the *very* popular hashtag . I love my two cats more than most humans and I enjoy making hiking, making hot sauce and stickers!

Went to grab a coffee and got the chance to pretend to be a student and cheer on a dancing tree-human

Instead of cake, at our wedding this summer we will have doughnuts (bc doughnuts > cake)

.... what fraction of attendees need to be astronomers (or, BH astronomers?!) for a Sgr A*
EHT doughnut design to be appropriate? 🙃

Dr Adi Foord is a research astrophysicist at Stanford University, currently studying black holes and x-ray activity in space. You can follow at:

➡️ @AdiFoord

Foord has a website at adifoord.com and also a space-themed Etsy shop at etsy.com/shop/XtraGalacticStit

My favorite meme from today thus far, you ask? This one, made by Dan Galletti

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Although a quieter black hole, it’s what most of the supermassive black holes in our Universe look like. It’s the standard. And so, by looking at it we’re learning a lot more about how normal black holes interact with and live in their galaxies.

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It’s likely mis-aligned with the Milky Way’s galactic plane. The orbits of some of the stars in the center of our galaxy also seem mis-aligned with this plane and people like to blame galaxy mergers.

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We’ve already learned a few things by comparing this images to *thousands* of simulations! We think Sgr A* is rather quiescent, a chill supermassive black hole that isn’t super hungry. If Sgr A* were a person it would consume a grain of rice every million of years.

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Sgr A* is a lot smaller than M87, and its emission is much more variable. It will flicker in intensity on the order of hours, whereas M87 will flicker on the order of ~days. So, for a given exposure time we’re much more sensitive to motion blurring when imaging Sgr A*. This made it a lot harder to clean the data and create the image.

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The shadow that you see in the center of Sgr A*’s image is not actually the event horizon (the radius at which not even light can escape the gravitational pull of the supermassive black hole).

It’s more likely the radius where matter starts directly falling into the SMBH; where the orbits aren’t nice and circular anymore.

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If you remember, the EHT also resolved the emission and shadow of M87 a couple years ago. Although M87 is much further away than Sgr A*, the two supermassive black holes look similar in size because M87 is about 1000 times larger than Sgr A*! (I did not make the graphic and will need to figure out who did)

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Resolving the Milky Way’s SMBH at this level is like resolving a doughnut that’s sitting on the moon!

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To some it may look like a blurry doughnut, but this is actually the highest resolution image of our supermassive black hole ever taken. 😮 The EHT is a global network of radio observatories that work together to yield extremely high resolution images.

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Today I will spend most of the day looking at the Event Horizon Telescope image of Sgr A*!

This is the first direct image of the emission immediately outside of our Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole!!!

For those interested, most of the energy of a point source should lie within 4 pixels of the center pixel

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Happy Friday! It's time to play again.

Last week's results: 2 point sources! Ya'll did really well. @holochromatic won a free sticker (can you message me a good address to send it to?)

Do you think this Chandra X-ray observation of a supermassive black hole is 1 or 2 X-ray point sources?

I will send a black hole space time sticker to someone who guesses correctly!

Other cool space stickers can be found at: etsy.com/shop/XtraGalacticStit

@AdiFoord 2? I don’t exactly know what I’m looking at, but it makes cool pixel art so I stitched it 😂

#CrossStitch #SciencyArt

On the bird app, I play a game with my followers called .

I show X-ray data of supermassive black hole from the Chandra X-ray telescope, and ask my followers if they think it's an image of a single point source or a dual point source (aka possible a pair of SMBHs)!

For the smallest separated SMBH pairs, it's not very easy to tell if the data is 1 or 2 !

What do you think? Is this a single or a dual? I'll send a sticker of a black hole cat to someone who guesses correctly!

From this list you'd think that Black Holes and Planets are the only two types of research in astrophysics, but really it's just because we're the *coolest* two types of research specialities 😉

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