First-of-their-kind images of the magnetic field around a black hole may explain how the black hole shoots out a jet of energy and matter more than 5,000 light-years into space. The new images come from the first black hole ever photographed, which sits at the center of Messier 87, a giant elliptical galaxy 55 million light-years away. The result, released in 2019, was an image of a black hole surrounded by a doughnut of glowing matter. “The key thing here is trying to understand how the field is structured once it gets close to the black hole,” Dexter said. “It’s a very exciting result, learning more about this black hole image and the physical properties behind the image of the black hole in M87,” he said.