Near a supermassive black hole astronomers have seen the mysterious giant thread
Astronomers for many years studying the center of our Galaxy that contains a supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* is superior in the mass of the Sun is 4 million times.
However, with the advent of new tools to consider the center of the milky Way in the new details in the environment of Sagittarius A* discovered an incredibly surprising and exciting details. It is reported in-space.ru.
In 2016, the astronomer, Farhad Yusef-Zadeh of northwestern University in Evanston (USA) reported the discovery of unusual curved filament with a length of 2.3 light-years, which probably originates near the center of the milky Way, but to consider it in detail did not allow the quality of the data.
Thread a length of 2.3 light-years and a supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* in the center of the milky Way. Credit: NSF/VLA/UCLA/M. Morris et al.
To test this hypothesis, a team of astronomers from the University of California in Los Angeles (USA) have developed a new method and obtained high-resolution radio image of the Central region of the Galaxy. The results of the study presented in the journal The Astrophysical Journal.
«With the improved image, we were able to review the thread from start to finish and establish that it is located very close to the supermassive black hole. However, we still have much work to do to figure out the true nature of this mysterious object,» says mark Morris, lead author of the study.
What is this object?
To astronomers, there are three main versions of the origin of the giant thread. The first is the interaction of the magnetic fields of supermassive black holes and high-speed particles escaping from her.
The second, more fantastical, suggests that the filament is a relic of the hypothetical cosmic string, which is long, extremely thin (with a diameter of 10-29 cm). Earlier theorists had predicted that cosmic strings, if they exist, migrate to the centers of galaxies.
Directly to see cosmic string, of course, impossible, but she, like any very massive object creates a «gravitational lens» that could give her away.
Finally, the third assumption is based on random and virtually impossible to match the position and direction of the thread relative to the black hole. In this case, between them there is no real connection.
«Although we don’t yet have the answer, search for it fascinating. The result motivates astronomers to create radio telescopes the next generation with advanced technologies,» June said Hai, co-author of the study from the Harvard-Smithsonian center for astrophysics in Cambridge (USA).
Proof of any of the scenarios will provide scientists with important knowledge. For example, if the thread generated by particle emissions from Sagittarius A*, it will give important information about the magnetic field of its environment, showing that it is smooth and orderly and not chaotic.
Confirmation that the thread is a cosmic string will be the first proof of the highly speculative ideas, and will change the understanding of gravity, space-time and the Universe itself.
And even if the thread is not physically associated with the supermassive black hole at the center of the milky Way, its curve is very unusual. Maybe it was caused by the shock wave from the supernova explosion of opposing the powerful winds from massive stars surrounding the black hole.
«We will continue research until we have a convincing explanation of the nature of this object. For this we need more pictures of best quality, which we will try to in the near future,» concluded Miller Goss, co-author of the study from the National radio astronomy Observatory in Socorro (USA).