Our galaxy’s supermassive black hole is acting weirder than normal

Our galaxy’s supermassive black hole is acting weirder than normal

Our galaxy’s supermassive black hole is acting weirder than normal

The black hole often flickers, but outbursts are incredibly rare.

The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy has become unexpectedly active, with astronomers generally puzzled as to why Sagittarius A* has suddenly lit up with extreme brightness.

Like many galaxies, our own Milky Way is believed to revolve around a supermassive black hole.

"The black hole was so bright I at first mistook it for the star S0-2, because I had never seen Sagittarius A* that bright", said Tuan Do, an astronomer of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Sagittarius A*-the Milky Way's central black hole-is normally quite subdued, with low levels of activity recorded over years.

Minecraft's Super Duper Graphics Pack canceled for being 'too technically demanding'
The announcement doesn't get much more specific than that, so we don't know exactly which platforms were holding the DLC back.

S0-2 has been spotted a mere 17 light-hours away from the center as recently as previous year, and it's possible that the star's close relationship with the black hole has led to an increase in gas being swallowed up by it, which may have led to a burst of radiation visible using infrared. Their findings so far are now in press with The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Do and his team took observations of the galactic centre using the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii over four nights earlier this year. Black holes themselves don't emit any radiation that can be detected by our current instruments, but the stuff nearby does when the black hole's gravitational forces generate enormous friction, in turn producing radiation. Passing stars, orbiting around the black hole because of its incredible gravity, can end up donating their material to the disk as they graze by those forces, and it's theorized that this Sgr A* activity is because of an extra-large meal from one such pass. But no one was aware that anything was drawing close enough to be swallowed by the black hole. The team points to two possibilities. A huge dust cloud known as G2 also came extremely close to Sagittarius A*recently. Last year, it made its closest approach, coming within 17 light-hours of the black hole. There were no cosmic fireworks at the time, but we could be seeing a delayed reaction. The visualization shows S0-2's close encounter with the black hole, as over a dozen other stars encircle Sagittarius A*. "Additional multi-wavelength observations will be necessary to both monitor Sagittarius A* for potential state changes and to constrain the physical processes responsible for its current variability".

Do told ScienceAlert they are now waiting for data from other telescopes, including NASA's Spitzer and Chandra, to better understand what might have happened with Sagittarius A*.

Luckily, there are plenty of sources for extra data to help fathom the cause of the change.

Recommended News

  • Eddie Murphy Plays Rudy Ray Moore in Netflix’s ‘Dolemite Is My Name’

    Eddie Murphy Plays Rudy Ray Moore in Netflix’s ‘Dolemite Is My Name’

    By looking at the first footage, it's clear this isn't going to be a paint-by-numbers affair, which is refreshing. Murphy plays Moore in Dolemite Is My Name , which comes to Netflix and select theaters this fall .
    Monaco sign Henry Onyekuru from Everton on permanent transfer

    Monaco sign Henry Onyekuru from Everton on permanent transfer

    Monaco have signed Nigeria worldwide Henry Onyekuru on a five-year-deal from Everton , the French club announced on Monday. But the French club stated clearly that the 54-year-old was not sacked at the club, but left on mutual agreement.

    Injuries force England to make three changes for Wales clash

    Head coach Eddie Jones said his focus for the four warm-ups is on "developing a team capable of winning in Japan". Heinz will be vice-captain and partners skipper George Ford at half-back, with Piers Francis at inside centre.
  • Fortnite World Champ "Bugha" swatted during Sunday livestream

    In spite of this tragedy, swatting evidently still occurs, threatening lives and misdirecting law enforcement. They literally pulled up", Giersdorf said when asked about what happened.
    Connectivity could make digital cameras vulnerable to ransomware

    Connectivity could make digital cameras vulnerable to ransomware

    According to Check Point's report, this is possible through the picture transfer protocol of the cameras. Check Point disclosed the vulnerabilities to Canon , which has issued a security update for its devices .
    Gwent Police warn people mocking wanted Jermaine Taylor's hair

    Gwent Police warn people mocking wanted Jermaine Taylor's hair

    The photo of Taylor has been liked more than 9,000 times, commented on 80,000 times and shared 13,000 times. One Facebook user posted: 'That hairline goes further back than Woolworths'.
  • Ejected in Brittney Griner-Kristine Anigwe Brawl

    Ejected in Brittney Griner-Kristine Anigwe Brawl

    Brittney Griner , the 6-foot-9 All-Star center, brought an arm back and swung toward Wings forward Kristine Anigwe . After an empty possession, the Mercury were forced to foul Ogunbowale, who finished with 23 points.
    British government's Hong Kong intervention riles China

    British government's Hong Kong intervention riles China

    The Airport Express, the public train many use to reach the airport, isn't much more crowded right now than on a normal busy day. A large crowd sat under umbrellas, which are both a protest symbol in Hong Kong and protection from the summer heat.
    Worthing seafront now re-opened, after report of 'hazardous material'

    Worthing seafront now re-opened, after report of 'hazardous material'

    She wrote on Facebook: 'My friend complained of burning eyes this morning just after 11am while we were sitting on the beach'. Social media users reported being evacuated from the pier, but this has not been confirmed by Sussex Police .
  • Apple releases first look at star-powered drama 'The Morning Show'

    Apple releases first look at star-powered drama 'The Morning Show'

    But this marks Aniston's big return to television, coming in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Friends . Along with the short video, Apple TV + has also created Twitter and Instagram accounts for The Morning Show .
    Maguire catches Mourinho’s eye on Man United debut

    Maguire catches Mourinho’s eye on Man United debut

    Chelsea had more possession, more shots and indeed more shots on target. "If they are here it is because they deserve to be". We have to face it, take the responsibility and move forward.
    Nadal, Federer joining Djokovic on ATP leadership board | AP sports

    Nadal, Federer joining Djokovic on ATP leadership board | AP sports

    Djokovic addressed his frustration with the player council in pre-tournament comments at Wimbledon. That's it, no? Is about just trying to help the game to be better.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.