The black hole at the center of the Milky Way is unpredictable and chaotic

An international research team led by graduate student Alexis Andres found that

black hole
A black hole is a place in space where the pull of gravity is so strong not even light can escape it. Astronomers classify black holes into three categories by size: miniature, stellar, and supermassive black holes. Miniature black holes could have a mass smaller than our Sun and supermassive black holes could have a mass equivalent to billions of our Sun.

“>Black hole At the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, it shines not only irregularly from day to day but also over the long term. The team analyzed 15 years of data to come to this conclusion. Andres began his research in 2019 while a summer student at the University of Amsterdam. In the following years, he continued his research, which will now be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Arc A* is a powerful source of radio, X-rays, and gamma rays (visible light is blocked by irritating gases and dust). Astronomers have known for decades that Sagittarius A* flashes daily, emitting bursts of radiation ten to a hundred times brighter than the normal signal observed from a black hole.

This X-ray image of the galactic center combines all of Swift’s observations from 2006 to 2013. Sagittarius A* is in the center. Low energy X-rays (300 to 1500 MeV) are shown in red. Green has moderate energy (1500 to 3000 MeV). High energy blue (3,000 to 10,000 eV). Credit: NASA/Swift/In. designer

To learn more about this mysterious beacon, a team of astronomers led by Andres looked for patterns in 15 years of data provided by Andres.

Established in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. It’s vision is “To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity.”

“> NASANeil Geirels Swift Observatory, Earth-orbiting satellite dedicated to detecting gamma-ray bursts. The Swift Observatory has been observing gamma rays from the black hole since 2006. Analysis of the data shows high levels of activity from 2006 to 2008, with a sharp decline in activity over the next four years. After 2012, the frequency of flares increased again – the researchers had a hard time distinguishing the patterns.

In the next few years, the team of astronomers hope to gather enough data to be able to rule out whether the flare difference from Sagittarius A* is due to a gas cloud or passing star, or if something else could explain the irregular activity observed from the central black hole. in our galaxy.

“The long data set from the Swift Observatory did not happen by accident,” said co-author and former supervisor of Andrés, Dr Nathalie Degenaar, also at the University of Amsterdam. His request for this particular measurement from the Swift satellite was approved when he was a doctoral student. “Since then, I have applied for more monitoring time on a regular basis. This is a very specialized monitoring program that allows us to do a lot of research.”

Co-authored by Dr. Jacob van den Igenden, or

University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England that is made up of 39 constituent colleges, and a range of academic departments, which are organized into four divisions. It was established circa 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation after the University of Bologna.

Article: Oxford UniversityCommenting on the team’s findings: “How the flare occurs is still not completely clear. It was previously believed that more flares came after the gas cloud or star passed through the black hole, but there is no evidence for this yet. We haven’t been able to confirm the hypothesis that the magnetic properties of the surrounding gas also play a role.”

Reference: “A Fast Study of long-term changes in the combustion properties of X-ray arcs A” by A Andrés, J van den Eijnden, N Degenaar, PA Evans, K Chatterjee, M Reynolds, JM Miller, J Kennea, R Wijnands, S Markoff, D Altamirano, CO Heinke, A Bahramian and G Ponti, D Haggard, 9 Dec 2021, Available here. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
DOI: 10.1093 / mnras / stab3407

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