After capturing the image of a black hole last year, astronomers learn something new about it yet again
Black holes are known to devour everything that occupies the space surrounding them. But while they’re absorbing everything around then, it can shine brightly. In fact with all that has been absorbed, it can blaze like a billion X-ray suns.
Recently, astronomers got to see it blazing, then seeing it disappear, then gradually blazing again, but brighter than before. They were observing a supermassive black hole which was 19 million solar masses and powered a galactic nucleus that was located about 275 million light years away, located in galaxy 1927+654.
Something entirely new
The events mentioned above happened in a span of just 40 days. Erin Kara, physicist of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) stated that luminosity changes usually take thousands to millions of years. But in this black hole, the changes occured by a factor of 10,000 in just a year, and once it changed by a factor of 100 in eight hours, which is something that has never happened before.
The first time 1ES 1927+654 became a topic of discussion was in 2018 when the All-Sky Automated Survey for Super Novae (ASASSN), which is tasked to locate bright flashes of light in the sky caught sight of an unearthly flare from across the galaxy, which was burning at 40 times its usual brightness. Astronomers started observing and after 160 days it started dimming. Then in the next 40 days, it went completely down. But soon it started getting brighter and 300 days after the initial flare, it was burning 20 times brighter than before.
Astronomers believe it to be the magnetic fields surrounding the black hole and feels something is disrupting these fields, causing it to get dim and then burn brighter.
(Cover: Science Alert)