A ring-like accretion structure in M87 connecting its black hole and jet

Ru Sen Lu*, Keiichi Asada*, Thomas P. Krichbaum*, Jongho Park, Fumie Tazaki, Hung Yi Pu, Masanori Nakamura, Andrei Lobanov, Kazuhiro Hada*, Kazunori Akiyama, Jae Young Kim, Ivan Marti-Vidal, José L. Gómez, Tomohisa Kawashima, Feng Yuan, Eduardo Ros, Walter Alef, Silke Britzen, Michael Bremer, Avery E. BroderickAkihiro Doi, Gabriele Giovannini, Marcello Giroletti, Paul T.P. Ho, Mareki Honma, David H. Hughes, Makoto Inoue, Wu Jiang, Motoki Kino, Shoko Koyama, Michael Lindqvist, Jun Liu, Alan P. Marscher, Satoki Matsushita, Hiroshi Nagai, Helge Rottmann, Tuomas Savolainen, Karl Friedrich Schuster, Zhi Qiang Shen, Pablo de Vicente, R. Craig Walker, Hai Yang, J. Anton Zensus, Juan Carlos Algaba, Alexander Allardi, Uwe Bach, Ryan Berthold, Dan Bintley, Do Young Byun, Carolina Casadio, Shu Hao Chang, Chih Cheng Chang, Song Chu Chang, Chung Chen Chen, Ming Tang Chen, Ryan Chilson, Tim C. Chuter, John Conway, Geoffrey B. Crew, Jessica T. Dempsey, Sven Dornbusch, Aaron Faber, Per Friberg, Javier González García, Miguel Gómez Garrido, Chih Chiang Han, Kuo Chang Han, Yutaka Hasegawa, Ruben Herrero-Illana, Yau De Huang, Chih Wei L. Huang, Violette Impellizzeri, Homin Jiang, Hao Jinchi, Taehyun Jung, Juha Kallunki, Petri Kirves, Kimihiro Kimura, Jun Yi Koay, Patrick M. Koch, Carsten Kramer, Alex Kraus, Derek Kubo, Cheng Yu Kuo, Chao Te Li, Lupin Chun Che Lin, Ching Tang Liu, Kuan Yu Liu, Wen Ping Lo, Li Ming Lu, Nicholas MacDonald, Pierre Martin-Cocher, Hugo Messias, Zheng Meyer-Zhao, Anthony Minter, Dhanya G. Nair, Hiroaki Nishioka, Timothy J. Norton, George Nystrom, Hideo Ogawa, Peter Oshiro, Nimesh A. Patel, Ue Li Pen, Yurii Pidopryhora, Nicolas Pradel, Philippe A. Raffin, Ramprasad Rao, Ignacio Ruiz, Salvador Sanchez, Paul Shaw, William Snow, T. K. Sridharan, Ranjani Srinivasan, Belén Tercero, Pablo Torne, Efthalia Traianou, Jan Wagner, Craig Walther, Ta Shun Wei, Jun Yang, Chen Yu Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The nearby radio galaxy M87 is a prime target for studying black hole accretion and jet formation1,2. Event Horizon Telescope observations of M87 in 2017, at a wavelength of 1.3 mm, revealed a ring-like structure, which was interpreted as gravitationally lensed emission around a central black hole3. Here we report images of M87 obtained in 2018, at a wavelength of 3.5 mm, showing that the compact radio core is spatially resolved. High-resolution imaging shows a ring-like structure of 8.4−1.1+0.5 Schwarzschild radii in diameter, approximately 50% larger than that seen at 1.3 mm. The outer edge at 3.5 mm is also larger than that at 1.3 mm. This larger and thicker ring indicates a substantial contribution from the accretion flow with absorption effects, in addition to the gravitationally lensed ring-like emission. The images show that the edge-brightened jet connects to the accretion flow of the black hole. Close to the black hole, the emission profile of the jet-launching region is wider than the expected profile of a black-hole-driven jet, suggesting the possible presence of a wind associated with the accretion flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-690
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume616
Issue number7958
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Apr 27

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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