Science and Technology

A strange bubble of gas is seen orbiting the Milky Way’s black hole

With the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the Chilean desert, astronomers discovered indicators of a “sizzling spot” orbiting Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the middle of the Milky Way; its place is highlighted in the picture above.

Astronomers have noticed the fleeting look of a bubble of gas orbiting at “unimaginable” speeds round Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the middle of our galaxy. The discovery was reported in a scientific research revealed this Thursday (22) in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The discovery of this bubble, whose lifetime doesn’t exceed just a few hours, can present perception into the conduct of black holes. These astronomical objects are much more mysterious as a result of they’re actually invisible – their gravitational pull is such that even gentle can’t escape.

Known as a “hotspot,” the bubble could assist higher perceive the enigmatic and dynamic setting of Sagittarius A*. the movement of the stars of their orbit.

The EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) collaboration, a worldwide community of radio telescopes, revealed in May the first picture of it – really the ring of materials that surrounds the black hole earlier than it is swallowed up by it.

ALMA, one of these radio telescopes situated in Chile, has picked up a “very stunning” sign in the observational knowledge of Sagittarius A*, astrophysicist Maciek Wielgus of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy instructed AFP.

Just minutes earlier than ALMA collected that knowledge, the Chandra house telescope detected a “large-scale emission” of X-rays from Sagittarius A*, he reported.

This burst of vitality, believed to be much like photo voltaic storms on the Sun, despatched a bubble of gas flying round the black hole at full velocity, the research describes.

Image of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, with an artist’s idea displaying the hotspot and its orbit

Image: EHT Collaboration, ESO/M. Kornmesser (Credit: M. Wielgus)

The phenomenon, noticed for about an hour and a half, made it potential to calculate that the gas bubble made a whole circuit of the black hole in simply 70 minutes, that is, at a velocity equal to 30% of the velocity of gentle, which travels as much as 300,000 kilometers per second.

A velocity that “defies the creativeness,” in accordance with Wielgus.

The phenomenon can be of magnetic origin, in accordance with a idea put ahead by the scientist. The black hole’s magnetic discipline is so highly effective that it prevents some of the matter that circulates round it from being absorbed by it.

But this accretion of materials results in a “flame burst” that interrupts the magnetic discipline and releases a burst of vitality in the kind of a gas bubble, in accordance with astrophysics.

Observations of these magnetic fields ought to assist perceive how black holes work. They may point out the price at which these black holes are spinning on themselves.

© Agence France-Presse

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