Scientists discover the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center is acting weird

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Something strange is going on at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, or at least that’s what scientists are reporting after observing the supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*.

Sagittarius A*


At the center of the Milky Way is a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*, and while it’s not considered very active, meaning it’s not eating up much of its surroundings, it is still eating some material. Now, astrophysicists Gustavo Magallanes-Guijón and Sergio Mendoza of the National Autonomous University of Mexico have analyzed gamma-ray data on Sagittarius A* acquired in December 2022 by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

The astrophysicists looked for patterns in the data and discovered that the supermassive black hole fires a burst of gamma rays every 76.32 minutes, the most energetic wavelength range of light in the known universe. In addition, the team discovered a radio flare that is as common as gamma rays. In addition, the astrophysicists discovered that an X-ray flare occurs every 149 minutes, double the periodicity of the gamma-ray flare.

What does this mean? Black holes themselves do not emit radiation, but their event horizon is an entirely different matter. According to the team, these results indicate that there is a physical object within the horizon of the black hole that is causing these outbursts. This would explain the periodicity of the flares, along with the radio waves. What is the object? The astrophysicists think it’s probably a blob of hot gas bound together by an extremely strong magnetic field.

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