The supermassive black hole that resides at the very centre of our galaxy has been sparkling with a bright light and scientists can’t tell the exact reason behind it.
The supermassive black hole is called Sagittarius A* and is 4 million times as massive as the Sun.
Here’s a timelapse of images over 2.5 hr from May from @keckobservatory of the supermassive black hole Sgr A*. The black hole is always variable, but this was the brightest we’ve seen in the infrared so far. It was probably even brighter before we started observing that night! pic.twitter.com/MwXioZ7twV— Tuan Do (@quantumpenguin) August 11, 2019
A forthcoming study, led by Do and published on the arXiv preprint server observed:
That spring evening, the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole “reached much brighter flux levels in 2019 than ever measured at near-infrared wavelengths.
This unusual sparkle at the centre of the galaxy was likely caused by close encounters between Sgr A* and objects surrounding it, Do and his team suggested.
Do says that the black hole is waking up and nothing more can be said at this point without further data.