Black holes are an area of space-time that exhibits gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing – no particles, not even electromagnetic radiation like light – can escape from it. In space, black holes are one of the most complex entities. Astronomers have recently discovered another supermassive black hole, called Sagittarius A *, which accumulates 4 million times the mass of the Sun. And now, in an attempt to prove Einstein's distinctive theory of gravity, he has uncovered an unprecedented flash from the black hole at the center of our galaxy.
According to a report by Gizmodo, a team of scientists have been measuring it for more than 20 years, and as early as May they were seeing a flash of infrared radiation, which is brighter than ever measured by a black hole.
"We can see it change in real time," says Tuan Do, the study's first author and associate scientist at UCLA before Gizmodo. "You don't usually do it in astrophysics."
You can see spectacular footage of the phenomenon in the tweet below:
Here is a time to download images over 2.5 hours since May from @keckobservatory of the super-massive black hole Sgr A *. The black hole is always variable, but it was the brightest we've seen in infrared so far. It was probably even brighter before we started watching this night! pic.twitter.com/MwXioZ7twV
– Tuan Do (@quantumpenguin) August 11, 2019
Using an infrared camera on the Keck II telescope, a team of scientists monitored the galactic center for four nights this year. However, on May 13, the amount of infrared light emitted by it increased by 75 times in just two hours. It also glowed brightly on April 20 and quickly dimmed the nights it glowed. It is worth mentioning here that the study was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
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However, the behavior cannot yet be fully explained, so scientists are currently struggling to understand why the black hole shines so brightly. The change is likely to be caused by an increase in the amount of gas sucked into the black hole. A star called S0-2 went through Sagittarius A * in 2018 and could trigger a reaction that sent more gas into the hole.
"The changes in brightness are probably related to the amount of gas that falls into the black hole," said astronomer Tuan Do.
"The big question is whether this increased activity means that something is going to change the gas flow, and if so, how long will it last?"
"Alternatively, G2 gas, which went through the closest approach in 2014, took some time to get to the black hole," Do added.