28 Apr 2019

A city sized star is blocking full view of our milky way's black hole!

Yes! a city sized star is blocking view of our milky way's black hole!


After the release of first image of black hole on April 10, 2019, one question was very common. Why we had captured image of M87* which is the black hole of another galaxy and not captured of Sagittarius A* which is from milkyway?

So ,reason behind this is very interesting. We have not captured image of Sagittarius A* because we are not receiving right angle of it, but the real cause was a city sized neutron star. Yes! A Manhattan city sized small and dense neutron star known as Magnetar blocked the view of Sagittarius A*.

In 2013, astronomers were working on project to observe supermassive black hole in the centre of Milkyway known as  Sagittarius A*. But when everything was going correct, suddenly a neutron star called Magnetar flared up and blocked the view of black hole totally. Obviously it wonders, how a such tiny star can block whole view of black hole, but that’s the truth.

“Initially, the big excitement was, ‘Holy cow, Sagittarius A* just went nuts!'” McGill astronomer Daryl Haggard told Live Science. “It would have been the brightest flare we’d ever seen from the supermassive black hole.”

While observing Sagittarius A* through X-RAY telescope, astronomers observed a big bang in black hole. At that time they had observed a gas cloud moving towards the event horizon of black hole which obviously emits energy.  As usual black hole never emits any light but, the gas clouds near the event horizon can. But, this time the observed energy on X-RAY telescope was much higher comparatively.

Then ,on 24th April, 2013 a very surprising data came to their telescope, that was sudden change was Swift, an orbital NASA telescope. Astronomers were watching the supermassive black hole, trying to pick up a little bit of a signature in the X-ray wavelengths from this interaction, and then BANG, the magnetar went off.

Over the time, the brightness of neutron star start fading off and this was the time astronomers were able to classify them as two. And that time they explained the light from the black hole and the neutron star as the two headlights of  the car.

As the time passed over more the light from the neutron star start fading more. For observers of the galactic centre, Haggard said, this sort of issue is typical. There's such a dense, bright cloud of hot material in the area, she said, that any observation requires carefully sorting out good data from junk. The magnetar has become just one more frustration for Sagittarius A* observers to deal with.


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