Saturday, June 22, 2024

Mysterious phenomenon.. What is the secret of the threads hanging in space around the heart of the Milky Way galaxy? | Science


At the center of our Milky Way is Sagittarius A*, a bright region and a very powerful radio source. It is part of a larger area known as Sagittarius A. It has a supermassive black hole, a common feature, it is believed. Most cores contain similar black holes Spiral galaxies and elliptical.

Mysterious new tracks

In the early 1980s, Farhad Yousefzadeh, a radio astronomer and professor of physics and astronomy in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences) at Northwestern University, giant one-dimensional filaments hanging vertically near our galaxy’s central supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*, now Zadeh and his collaborators have discovered new filaments, except these filaments are much shorter and horizontal. (or radially) and extend like rods.from black holes to bicycle wheels.

Although the two groups of filaments share many similarities, Yusufzadeh thinks they have different origins. While the vertical filaments sweep up to 150 light-years into the galaxy, the horizontal filaments resemble the dots and dashes of Morse code. Penetrating only one side of the “Sagittarius” area. a*”, and the team published the results their studies The leads were published June 2 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Researcher Yusuf Zadeh says Report Journalist published by Northwestern University “It was surprising to find new structures that seemed to point in the direction of the black hole. I was very shocked when I saw them. We had to do a lot of work to prove. We found that these threads are not random “but they seem to be related to the flow of our black hole. By studying them, we can learn more about the direction of the black hole’s accretion disk. It’s nice to see something orderly in the midst of the chaotic field of our galactic center.”

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The latest study builds on Yousefzadeh’s 4 decades of research. Yousefzadeh and Ian Heywood and their collaborators, who discovered the vertical filaments in 1984 by Mark Morris and Don Chance, later discovered two giant bubbles emitting radio waves near Sagittarius A*. In a series of scientific publications in 2022 – Yousefzadeh (along with Heywood, Richard Arendt and Mark Wardle) revealed nearly a thousand vertical threads that appeared in pairs and groups, often stacked evenly or side by side like strings on a string.

Color-coded position angles for all detected short and long filaments (The Astrophysical Journal Letters)

Radio astronomy technology

Youssefzadeh is credited with several innovations in improved radio astronomy technology, particularly the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (SARAO) Meerkat telescope. Regarding the surrounding objects, he commented, “Meerkat observations will be a game-changer. Advances in technology and dedicated observing time have given us new information. This is truly a technical achievement for radio astronomers.”

After studying vertical fibers for decades, Yousefzadeh was shocked to find horizontal counterparts estimated to be 6 million years old. Similarities end as there are many differences:

  • Vertical fibers are perpendicular to the galactic plane; Although the horizontal threads are seen parallel to the plane of the galaxy, they are directed radially towards the center of the galaxy where the black hole is located.
  • Vertical threads are magnetic and relativistic; Horizontal threads seem to emit thermal radiation.
  • Vertical filaments contain particles moving at speeds close to the speed of light; Horizontal filaments appear to accelerate thermal material into a molecular cloud.
  • There are several hundred vertical threads and a few hundred horizontal threads. Vertical filaments are much larger than horizontal filaments, reaching up to 150 light-years in height, while horizontal filaments are only 5 to 10 light-years long.
  • Vertical threads also decorate the space around the galactic nucleus; As for horizontal threads, they propagate only in one direction towards the black hole.
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The researchers used data from the South African Center for Radio Astronomy (MERCAT)’s Meerkat Telescope.

Further research

Yousefzadeh says, “One of the most important effects of radial flow that we discovered is the direction of the accretion disk and the flow away from the region (Sagittarius A*).” An accretion disk is a belt of gas and a white, neutron star, or black hole orbiting it by gravity.

The new discovery is full of unknowns, and Yusufzadeh’s work has begun to reveal its secrets and try to think of a reasonable explanation of its mechanisms and origin of creation. This happened a few million years ago. “It appears to be the result of the interaction of that flowing material,” Zadeh says. Objects close to it, but our work is not yet complete. We always need new observations, constantly challenging our ideas. And revising our analyses.”

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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