Astrophysicists have detected unknown activity near the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 28.11.2023, 00:02
Astrophysicists have detected unknown activity near the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy

At the centre of our galaxy is the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*. It behaves relatively quietly, but recently scientists have detected regular activity near it.

Here's What We Know

Sagittarius A* does not devour huge amounts of matter, so there are no frequent emissions. Nevertheless, regular unknown flares in the X-ray range have been detected near the supermassive black hole. Help to understand the nature of their occurrence helped orbital Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Scientists at the National Autonomous University of Mexico analysed data collected by the telescope from mid-June to mid-December last year. Astrophysicists concluded that the gamma-ray signal comes with a periodicity of 76.32 minutes.

The reliability of the discovery was 3σ. An exact confirmation requires 5σ. Thus, with a high probability, in the centre of our galaxy there is a clot of gas, which revolves around a supermassive black hole.

The distance of the gas cluster from the black hole is comparable to the distance between the Sun and Mercury (57.91 million kilometres). The velocity is about a third of the speed of light (299,792,458 m/s).

Source: Phys.org