WASHINGTON – A sudden burst of jets from a black hole 8,000 light-years from Earth has offered astronomers a rare opportunity to measure the surrounding magnetic field, only to find it weaker than expected.
The results seem to go against our current understanding of black holes that are famous for their intense gravitational attraction known for devouring entire stars and throwing matter flows into space at almost the speed of light, according to a study published on Thursday in the American magazine Science.
We were not expecting this, so it changes a lot from what we thought we knew, "said study co-author Stephen Eikenberry, professor of astronomy at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida.
As of June 2015, the astronomers detected a sudden flash of a binary system called V404 Cygni, which contains a black hole 40 miles wide (64 kilometers wide).
They quickly mobilized radio, infrared, optical and radio telescopes. X-rays. Full data during the two-week outbreak.
It turned out that the magnetic energy around the black hole is about 400 times lower than the previous crude estimates.
"Our surprisingly low measurements will force new restrictions on models Theoretical that previously "Until now, astronomers are baffled about how the" jets "of particles traveling at almost the speed of light they shoot out of the magnetic fields of the black holes, while everything is concentrated in strong magnetic fields that accelerate and direct the streams of the jets. "The outbursts of small black holes, like the one observed for the study, occur suddenly and are ephemeral," the study said.
The 2015 blasts of the Cygni V404 lasted alone. A couple of weeks The last time the same black hole had a similar episode was in 1989.
"Observing it was something that happened once or twice in the race," said Yigit Dalilar, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in the department of astronomy of the University of Florida. . "This discovery puts us one step closer to understanding how the universe works."