Tuesday, June 27, 2023 at 08:00 p.m
The supermassive black hole is back Sagittarius A The Milky Way, previously considered dormant, came to life briefly in the mid-19th century, according to the results of a study published in the Journal. Nature And the black hole, about four million times the mass of the Sun, 27,000 light-years from Earth, woke up from a long slumber about 200 years ago, and the celestial body in about a year. Devours cosmic bodies According to the researchers, before returning to inactivity is different.
Frédéric Marin, author of the study, said via the institute AFP: “Imagine a bear eating everything around it and going into hibernation.”
During this process in the late 19th century, the black hole was “a million times brighter than it is today,” Marin added. Observing the centuries-old activity, scientists noticed that nearby interstellar molecular clouds began emitting X-ray light so dramatically that “a glowworm hidden in a forest suddenly became as bright as the sun,” the French researchers said. CNRS
Astronomers tracked this X-ray light using NASA’s X-ray Polarimetry Explorer. (IXPE) They found that the clues pointed directly Sagittarius A* – Marin’s statement “echoed his previous activities“.
But while scientists are intrigued by the study’s findings, the reasons for the black hole’s reappearance remain a mystery. One of the prevailing hypotheses is that a star or gas cloud may have drifted too close and caused the wake. Sagittarius A* from its steady state. The researchers hope the study will provide important insights into what drives black holes from rest to activity..
Last year, astronomers published online the first images of a black hole — or more specifically, a glowing ring of gas that surrounds it and confirms its existence..
A black hole is a region of space-time with such a strong gravitational pull that nothing, not even light, can escape from it. They form when the core of a very massive star collapses in on itself at the end of its life.