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Aug 14, 2019 at 17:04

The Supermassive Black Hole At The Centre Of Our Galaxy Suddenly Lit Up & Nobody Knows Why

by Smrutisnat Jena

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. 

Source: The Verge

The supermassive black hole is called Sagittarius A* and is 4 million times as massive as the Sun.

Though no light escapes its boundaries, astronomers can observe the hole’s interactions with bright stars or dust clouds that surround it.

According to Vice, on the 13th of May, 2019, astronomer Tuan Do and his colleagues were watching the black hole. In a period of just two hours, they witnessed the supermassive black hole become 75 times brighter in the near-infrared band of the light spectrum.

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.
Source: Sputnik International

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. 

The team also speculated that a star called S0-2, a celestial about 15 times the mass of the Sun might also have provided some fuel for the black hole to burn. In 2018, it had come within 17 light-years of Sgr A* and could have disturbed the gasses at the event horizon, causing the brightening event. 

Source: Wikipedia

Do says that the black hole is waking up and nothing more can be said at this point without further data. 

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