First, Dan Wilkins and his colleagues at Stanford University observed brilliant glows of X-ray emissions from gas falling into a supermassive black hole, located at the center of a galaxy 800 miles away, millions of light years from our solar system.
It was exciting, but not without precedentDan Wilkins explains in a statement released by the university.
Then their telescopes recorded something unexpected:
Other X-ray flashes are smaller, later, and of different colors than those in [habituelles] bright explosionsResearchers report.
Any light entering this black hole does not go out, so we should not be able to see beyond the black hole.
According to the researcher, the strange feature of the black hole makes this observation possible.
The reason we see this phenomenon is because this black hole distorts space, bending light, and twisting magnetic fields around it.Dan Wilkins explained.
This fact was described in Einstein’s theory of relativity, but it has not yet been confirmed.
Fifty years ago, when astrophysicists began to speculate about the behavior of the magnetic field near a black hole, they had no idea that one day we would have the technologies to directly observe it and observe Einstein’s general theory of relativity in action.Dr Roger Blandford, co-author of the article, details of which were published in the journal, said: nature (in English).
- A black hole is a celestial body that has a very large mass in a very small volume. As if the diameter of the sun was only a few kilometers or the Earth was confined to the head of a pin.
- The concept of a black hole appeared at the end of the eighteenth century.
- It’s so massive that nothing escapes it, not matter, not even light. So it is practically invisible, so no telescope has worked yet
to seea before 2019.
Better understanding of the event horizon
Initially, the researchers were trying to learn more about the event horizon that defines the intangible limit of entry into a black hole.
contour A black hole is one of the most violent places in the universe, the point of no return beyond which everything — stars, planets, gas, dust, and all forms of electromagnetic radiation, including light — is irreversibly absorbed.
cool In a supermassive black hole, it turns on the brightest sources of light in the universe, thus forming a crown around the black hole. This light can be analyzed to map and characterize the black hole.
This magnetic field swirling and moving close to the black hole heats up everything around it and generates high-energy electrons which then produce X-rays.Dan Wilkins said.
By closely observing the origin of the eruptions, astrophysicists saw a series of smaller flashes. They determined it was the same X-ray flares, but they were reflected from the back of the disk, which was the first glimpse into the black hole’s dark side.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been building theoretical predictions about how these echoes will appear. Once I saw them in telescope observations, so I was able to make the connectionDan Wilkins rejoices.
Studying the crown of black holes will require further observations. ATHENA X-ray Observatory (Advanced High Energy Astrophysics Telescope) for the European Space Agency, which will be launched in 2031, will monitor the event horizon of black holes.
ATHENA will be equipped with a mirror much larger than the one we currently have, and this mirror will allow us to obtain high-resolution images in much shorter observation times., estime M. Wilkins.
So, the picture that we are starting to get from the current data will become clearer thanks to this new generation of observatories.Concludes.
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