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The Only Black Hole We’ve Ever Seen Has a Shadow That Wobbles

Members of the EHT collaboration published new findings in the Astrophysical Journal about M87’s supermassive black hole (known as M87*), revealing two new major insights. First, the shadow diameter of the event horizon doesn’t change over time, which is exactly what Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicts for a supermassive black hole of M87*’s size. However, the second insight is that the bright crescent adorning this shadow is far from stable: it wobbles. There’s so much turbulent matter surrounding M87* that it makes sense the crescent would bug out and get fidgety. But the fact that we can watch it over time means we now have an established method for studying the physics of one of the most extreme kinds of environment in the entire universe.

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