Tuesday , November 24 2020

Scientists are getting closer to confirming that the center of our galaxy has a supermassive black hole

Every 16 years the star known as S2, from the constellation of Sagittarius, is "scratched" by a mysterious object, exactly in the center of our galaxy, 26,000 light years from Earth, weighing about 4 million suns But this year a group of astronomers tried to prove their presence of a unique opportunity: for several months the "small" star approached the center of the galaxy, allowing them to better analyze the behavior of gravity in extreme environments and derive important clues about this mega object.

In this case, this team, which was formed as a result of collaboration of scientists from Germany and Chile under the leadership of Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute, was "lucky": he was able to collect what he classifies as the strongest evidence of a supermassive black hole so far: every 45 minutes The gas clouds seem to revolve around the center of the galaxy, making a full turn around 240 million kilometers at a speed that corresponds to almost 30% of the speed of light. In the case of astrophysicists, this behavior can be explained only by the presence of a supermassive black hole.

In a publication published last week, in Astronomy and astrophysicsThe Genzel team notes that it is as close as ever to observing the zone directly surrounding the black hole of this type.

In addition to being convinced of the existence of this black hole in the center of the Milky Way, astronomers believe that there are supermassive holes at the center of all large galaxies, at least.

To confirm them, this will explain the violent and spectacular phenomena that are visible in the centers of the galaxies.

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