Black holes are mysterious and definitely worth exploring. Even experts wonder what they are and what happens to things that get sucked into the enigmatic hole. Just how long will one take to get so big and envelope the Earth?
The only thing that scientists thought they knew about these mysterious black hole was that their gravitational pull was so strong that even light couldn’t escape it. But NASA just saw something came out of a black hole!
NASA’s Explorer missions Swift and Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array or NuSTAR caught a giant eruption of X-ray light in a supermassive black hole in the Pegasus constellation which is about 324 million light-years away.
The phenomenon led to a new question: “How do supermassive black holes flare?”
Dan Wilkins from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax Canada, said: “This is the first time we have been able to link the launching of the corona to a flare.
“This will help us understand how supermassive black holes power some of the brightest objects in the universe.”
Black holes do not emit light but they are usually seen with a ring of light like a halo around them, which occurs due to particles being drawn towards them and starting to build up. The gravity of a black hole attracts swirling gas, heating the materials and causing it to glow.
Coronas, which are another source of radiation, are made up of energetic particles that produce X-ray light. However, details about how their form and their appearance are still unclear. Astronomers suggest they could develop from a ‘lamppost’ model.
NASA said: “The ‘lamppost’ model says they are compact sources of light, similar to light bulbs, that sit above and below the black hole, along its rotation axis.
“The other model proposes that the coronas are spread out more diffusely, either as a larger cloud around the black hole, or as a “sandwich” that envelops the surrounding disk of material like slices of bread. In fact, it’s possible that coronas switch between both the lamppost and sandwich configurations.
“The new data support the ‘lamppost’ model – and demonstrate, in the finest detail yet, how the light-bulb-like coronas move.”
Describing how the light came out from the corona, Dan Wilkins added:
“The corona gathered inward at first and then launched upwards like a jet.
We still don’t know how jets in black holes form, but it’s an exciting possibility that this black hole’s corona was beginning to form the base of a jet before it collapsed.”
Coronas travel quickly and this one was moving at 20 percent the speed of light. NASA said:
“When this happens, and the corona launches in our direction, its light is brightened in an effect called relativistic Doppler boosting.
Putting this all together, the results show that the X-ray flare from this black hole was caused by the ejected corona.”
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