A supermassive black hole within the heart of the Milky Way simply wakened and is flashing 75 instances brighter than ever noticed, after being quiet for greater than 20 years, baffling astronomers.
Sagittarius A*, a supermassive blackhole, is generally low key with minimal fluctuation in brightness. Recently, nevertheless, it bloomed 75 instances brighter than ever earlier than for no obvious motive.
Earlier this yr, Tuan Do, an astronomer at UCLA, and his workforce took observations of the galactic centre utilizing the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii over 4 nights. The workforce noticed the weird flash on May 13, capturing it in a two-hour timelapse that condensed the phenomenon down to only a few seconds. The “unprecedented” findings have now been published within the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
As Do explains, the footage begins with Sgr A* at its brightest, which means it may have been even brighter earlier than the workforce began their observations. Astronomers are now amassing knowledge to find out precisely what precipitated the sudden flare, though there are a number of theories.
“Maybe extra fuel is falling into the black hole and that results in larger quantities of accretion, which ends up in it being brighter,” Do advised New Scientist. There’s additionally a chance that the black hole lastly bought round to consuming a fuel cloud, referred to as G2, that approached Sgr A* in 2014.
The ground-based Keck Observatory will proceed observing the Milky Way heart till it’s not seen from Earth at evening. Meanwhile, many different area telescopes, Spitzer, Chandra, Swift, and ALMA, have been additionally observing the galactic heart lately, probably amassing knowledge that would assist clarify what Sgr A* is doing.