Tech & Science: A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & ScienceA flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way

06:50  14 august  2019
06:50  14 august  2019 Source:   popsci.com

Something Appears to Have Ripped a Massive Hole in the Milky Way's Edge

Something Appears to Have Ripped a Massive Hole in the Milky Way's Edge Something Appears to Have Ripped a Massive Hole in the Milky Way's Edge

Astronomers from Lund University in Sweden have now found the explanation to a recent mystery at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy: the high According to the new study, the lower temperatures of the giant stars helped to create the optical illusion that appeared in the measurements of spectral lines.

Translated from the Ancient Greek as " Milky Way " for resembling spilled milk on the sky, that band of light is the center of our galaxy. The Milky Way has the shape of a spiral and rotates around its center , with long curling arms surrounding a slightly bulging disk.

Something weird is going on at the center of the Milky Way, and astronomers are scrambling for answers.

A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way © Pixabay Most galaxies appear to contain a supermassive black hole, and ours is acting up.

At the heart of our pinwheeling galaxy lies a black hole with some four million times the mass of the sun stuffed into an area roughly the size of Earth’s orbit. Known as Sagittarius A* (which is pronounced “Sagittarius A star”) or Sgr A* for short, it creates a tumultuous environment, whipping stars around at millions of miles per hour and shredding any asteroids that come close with the force of its gravity. The beast now appears to be acting even more aggressively than usual, flashing twice as brightly as astrophysicists have ever seen before. Researchers spotted the flareup this spring, and speculate that it’s coming from an as yet unidentified clump of matter unexpectedly falling onto the black hole.

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Astronomers from Lund University in Sweden have now found the explanation to a recent mystery at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy: the high levels of scandium discovered last spring near the galaxy’s giant black hole were in fact an optical illusion. Last spring, researchers published a study

The black hole at the center of the Milky Way , Sagittarius A*, is approximately 4 million times the mass of the Sun. As per Gizmodo, the team of researchers recently observed a flash of infrared radiation that was brighter than had ever been observed in the 20 years of studying the black hole.

"It was so bright you could see it in real time," says Andrea Ghez, the principal investigator of the Galactic Center Group at UCLA, which recorded the activity. "It was very clear that something was up this year."

Black holes themselves can't emit so much as a photon (they didn't get their name for nothing), but nearby matter is under no such prohibition. Hot gas in particular is thought to swirl around Sgr A*, forming an "accretion" disk of material destined to stick to the black hole's surface. The object hosts a fearsome magnetic field as well, and it's this force that drags charged particles like electrons spiraling inwards, making them glow. Dust stops visible light from making it all the way to Earth, some 26,000 light years out in the disk, but infrared radiation can get around it.

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The Milky Way , just like every galaxy in the cosmos, moves. While everything in the universe is constantly moving because the universe itself is The Milky Way has some of this hydrogen, too—another foreground haze to interfere with observations. But the expansion of the universe can

Breaking News and Information with a strong bias for telling the truth. Censored news and analysis that you won't find anywhere else. Astronomers from Lund University in Sweden have now found the explanation to a recent mystery at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy: the high levels of scandium

When Ghez and her team started watching the center of the galaxy two decades ago, their main goal was to prove the supermassive black hole existed, which they did indirectly by observing stars buzzing around the galaxy’s core like asteroids around the sun.

Over the last 10 years, new technology at Hawaii’s Keck Observatory has let the group study direct emissions from around the black hole itself. These days the system can take one image per minute, creating a stop-motion movie they can monitor either from Hawaii or UCLA. Sgr A* flickers like a candle, depending on the momentary vagaries of its consumption and the behavior of its magnetic field, but over four non-consecutive nights this spring that flicker became a flash bright enough to recognize by eye.

The Milky Way has a long history of cosmic cannibalism

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Mystery at the center of the Milky Way solved. October 15, 2018. 147 Views. Astronomers have now found the explanation to a recent mystery at the center of the Milky Way galaxy: the high levels of scandium discovered last spring near the galaxy's giant black hole were in fact an optical illusion.

TOPICS:Astronomy Astrophysics Cosmology Lund University Milky Way . “These giant red stars have used up most of their hydrogen fuel and their temperatures are therefore only half of the sun’s”, says Brian Thorsbro, lead author of the study and doctoral student in astronomy at Lund University.

“Oh, what’s going on,” Ghez recalls thinking at the time. “I don’t think we've ever seen it this bright before.”

Over the course of their observations, the brightness varied by 75 times—something like looking back and forth between a 100-watt light bulb and a floodlight. On one day in particular, May 13, Sgr A* shone twice as brightly as ever before, compared with hundreds of days of observations spanning 20 years (new analysis techniques have let the group retroactively extract rough measurements from the first 10 years). And the brightness was actually dimming when they switched on the camera, indicating that the peak of the event was likely even more radiant. A statistical test suggests that the chance of catching four nights as bright as they did was just 1 in 2,000.

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Astronomers from Lund University in Sweden have now found the explanation to a recent mystery at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy: the high levels of scandium discovered last spring near the galaxy’s giant black hole were in fact an optical illusion. Last spring, researchers published a study

“Given the behavior over the last 10 years,” Ghez says, “you shouldn’t see something like this happen.”

As for what’s causing this unprecedented activity, no one knows for sure. Inferring one particular interplay between gas, stars, magnetism, and a black hole from a flash in a dusty corner of the sky is a big leap, but the team has some educated guesses.

Related Slideshow - 30 photos to prove how beautiful our galaxy Milky Way is (Provided by Photo Services)

A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
A flashing mystery is unfolding at the center of the Milky Way
The top candidate is a change in the accretion (read: eating) process, because more matter streaming toward the black hole means more electrons getting lit up by the magnetic field. One star in particular, S0-2, could have pushed around some material during a close approach last year, or a local clump of gas could have gotten too close.

Alternatively, Sgr A* may not be chowing down on anything unusual. Perhaps its magnetic field snapped, firing a colossal flare analogous to those that come from our sun. Follow up observations, particularly in x-rays and radio waves, will help narrow down the possibilities.

Not knowing how long the flare up will last, Ghez's team raced to publish their results, which went online in August and will soon appear in the The Astrophysical Journal Letters, faster than any previous work. "One of the points of trying to get this paper out fast is to inspire other people to look at it before things change too much," she says.

And other researchers are taking notice. Enmanuelle Mossoux, an astrophysicist at the University of Liege in Belgium, called their bright flare "really interesting," and said it fits with patterns of irregular activity she's observed in x-rays, including an increased number of large eruptions since 2014. She'd like to see further analysis comparing recent years to see if this year's flare up fits into a broader ramping up.

Either way, astronomers will have to move fast. Unlike galaxies and other cosmic entities that predate humanity and aren’t going anywhere soon, whatever Sgr A* is up to, it might not keep at it for long. “We typically think of the universe as a very static place,” Ghez says, “and here we can see in real time things changing right in front of our eyes.”

Some Friends Fan Figured Out How Much Money Joey Owed Chandler.
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