Black Hole Flipping Its Magnetic Field Could Help Us Learn More
Black holes are one of the strangest objects in space. These dense spheres of matter are scattered across the Milky Way and have such strong gravitational fields that nothing can escape their macaws — not even light. Although we cannot look directly at a black hole like we can a star or a planet, we have learned a lot by observing how they affect the structure of space around us. they. Now, astronomers have discovered something about these cosmic mysteries that keep us from understanding them.
In a new study published May 5, Astrophysics Magazine, an international team of astrophysicists discovered that black holes can reverse the direction of their magnetic fields. This spontaneous reversal was noticed when a black hole in the galaxy 236 million light-years away suddenly became 100 times brighter before smoldering. This discovery could mean that black holes are much more dynamic in nature than previously thought — and could even help us find more black holes with similar behaviour.
As a black hole sucks in gas and dust from the galaxies around it, these matter swirl and fall into it and gather to form a rotating disk that produces radiation that scientists can see from billions of light years away.
Because space gas and dust also carry magnetic charges, they give the disks a magnetic field that surrounds the black hole in a particular direction, in the same way that the magnetic field around Earth points north. The direction of the magnetic field is thought to affect how gases, planets, and other objects fall into the black hole.
At the end of 2017, astronomers noticed that a particular black hole, named 1ES 1927+654, had grown super bright, peaked, and emitted more ultraviolet light and was easier to see at night. May 2018. Its X-ray radiation was also affected.
“Normally, if the UV goes up, so will your X-rays,” said Nicolas Scepi, co-author of the new study and a postdoctoral researcher at JILA, a joint university research institute. Colorado Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said in a press release. “But here, the ultraviolet is increased, while the X-rays are greatly reduced. That is very unusual.”
“Rapid changes in visible and ultraviolet light have been seen in several dozen galaxies similar to this one,” said Sibasish Laha, research scientist at Goddard’s Space Flight Center. NASA, said in a press release issued by the space agency. “But this event marks the first time we’ve seen X-rays get completely eliminated while other wavelengths light up.”
By October 2018, the black hole’s X-ray radiation returned. By the end of 2021, things are back to pre-superb conditions. All of this led researchers to realize that they might have stumbled across something unique and previously unobserved in the universe: a black hole flipping its magnetic field.
“A magnetic field inversion, where the north pole becomes south and vice versa, appears to be the most consistent with that,” said Mitchell Begelman, astrophysicist at CU Boulder and study co-author, in a press release. observations.
The researchers suggest it goes down like this: When the black hole sucks in gases with a magnetic field charge opposite to it, the magnetic field in one direction becomes so weak that it shifts in the other direction like a tug of war. co.
This new discovery provides further insight into how black holes produce radiation. It could also help us identify more black holes, which have proven elusive although tens of millions of them are likely scattered throughout the Milky Way, by tracking and analyzing any other super bright radiation events that appear on our cosmic radar.
“It is possible that some similar events have been observed,” Scepi said. “We just don’t know about them yet.”
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