NASA reveals how the magnetic field around the giant black hole in the center of the Milky Way has stopped devouring the matter around it
- The super-massive black hole of our galaxy is not as active as that in most galaxies
- The reason why has to do with the nature of the magnetic field around the hole
- Experts used a telescope mounted on an airplane to indirectly map the magnetic field
- Magnetic forces guide dust into the orbit around the hole, making it no longer nourish & # 39;
The magnetic field around the super-heavy black hole in the center of our galaxy channels gas particles in orbit around the hole, instead of in it.
The finding solves the mystery of why the black hole of the Milky Way is softer than that in the heart of other galaxies, which radiate radiation as they devour matter.
NASA experts mapped the field using a far infrared light detector mounted on a flying telescope to detect the movement of interstellar dust around the hole.
Scroll down for video
The magnetic field around the super-heavy black hole in the center of our Milky Way (pictured) channels gas particles in orbit around the hole, instead of in it
Like many galaxies, our Milky Way galaxy houses a super-heavy black hole in the middle, of which researchers have called the Sagittarius A *.
The super-heavy black holes of most galaxies are active, with huge amounts of material falling into them and causing them to emit high-energy radiation – strangely enough, however, it is relatively quiet in the heart of the Milky Way.
Researchers from this study discovered that NASA researchers surround the magnetic field around Sagittarius A * channels around gas in the orbit around the black hole instead of directly into it, preventing the hole from feeding & # 39 ;.
& # 39; The spiral shape of the magnetic field guides the gas into orbit around the black hole, & # 39; said lead research author and astrophysicist Darren Dowell, of NASA & # 39; s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
& # 39; This could explain why our black hole is quiet while others are active, & # 39; he added.
Invisible but able to influence the movements of charged particles, magnetic fields have significant effects on how matter moves and evolves through the universe.
However, the fact that they cannot be depicted directly means that their exact role is not well understood.
To map the shape and strength of these forces, researchers therefore had to study their effects on dust grains floating around the space, which are perpendicular to the magnetic fields.
The magnetic field around Sagittarius A * is made using a telescope carried in the Earth's atmosphere – and its signal dampening effects – by a special aircraft (pictured, with the telescope visible through the open door in the rear fuselage of the plane)
The pellets also emit polarized, far-infrared light that scientists discovered with the new High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus (HAWC +) instrument on board the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).
SOFIA is a modified Boeing 747 aircraft, managed by NASA and the German Aerospace Center, which carries a reflective telescope.
The survey aircraft flies above most of the water vapor in the atmosphere, the presence of which blocks some infrared signals to reach the ground.
The finding solves the mystery why the black hole of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A *, is calmer than that in the heart of other galaxies, which radiate radiation as they devour matter. Pictured, the center of the Milky Way, with an emphasis on an X-ray (inset) detected from Sagittarius A *
& # 39; This is one of the first cases where we can really see how magnetic fields and interstellar matter interact with each other & # 39 ;, said co-author Joan Schmelz, an astrophysicist at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California.
& # 39; HAWC + is a game changer, & # 39; she added.
The full findings of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in June 2019 and will be submitted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.
WHAT IS THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE SAGITTARIUS A *
The Galactic center of the Milky Way is dominated by one resident, the super-heavy black hole known as Sagittarius A * (Sgr A *).
Supermassive black holes are incredibly dense areas in the center of galaxies with masses that can be billions of times that of the sun.
They act as intense sources of gravity that sweat dust and gas around them.
The evidence of a black hole in the center of our galaxy was first presented by physicist Karl Jansky in 1931 when he discovered radio waves from the region.
Sgr A *, pre-eminently invisible, has the mass corresponding to around four million suns.
At just 26,000 light years from Earth, Sgr A * is one of the few black holes in the universe where we can actually see the flow of matter in the neighborhood.
Less than one percent of the material that initially falls within the black hole's gravitational influence reaches the event horizon, or point of no return, because much of it is ejected.
Consequently, the X-ray emission of material near Sgr A * is remarkably weak, like that of most of the giant black holes in galaxies in the nearby universe.
The captured material must lose heat and momentum before it can dive into the black hole. Ejecting matter causes this loss to occur.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) sciencetech (t) NASA