Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), which is a supermassive Black Hole at the heart of the Milky Way, suddenly glowed way too brighter than its normal state becoming 75 times more luminescent before going back to its normal state. According to a team of astronomers who have been observing the Black Hole, it was at its brightest form, measured in near-infrared wavelengths.
  1. Black Holes do not emit any radiation on their own that can be detected by our current instruments. However, the other objects that are nearby, do so when the gravitational forces of a black hole generate immense friction which in turn produces radiation.
  2. According to the ScienceAlert report, there are two immediate possibilities, one is G2, which is thought to be a gas cloud, which approached within 36 light-hours of Sgr A* in 2014. 
  3. Even if it was a gas cloud, the proximity should have torn it to shreds and some of it sucked in by the black hole, but nothing happened. It was later termed as a “cosmic fizzle”, however, the astronomers feel that the glowing of the black hole in May might have been a delayed reaction.
  4. The other possibility according to Tuan Do, is the star S0-2, which had passed close to the Black Hole last year, it may have changed the way gas flows into the Back Hole, so more gas is falling on it, leading it to become more variable, as per the report.
  5. However, the only way to find out is by having more data, which is being collected across a larger range of wavelengths. There will be more observations in the coming weeks. The data may reveal different aspects of physics of the change in brightness, and help us understand what is happening to Sgr A*.
  6. To recall, scientists had earlier this year also discovered the only space object – a lone star, that managed to escape the force of Sgr A* Black Hole. 
  7. The news about the star which escaped the force of the Black Hole came a few months after astronomers across the world showed the first-ever image of a black hole.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email