Bright "Flare" at center of Milky Way

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by dumbest man on earth, Aug 13, 2019 at 6:26 PM.

  1. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.sciencealert.com/our-ga...le-just-mysteriously-got-really-really-bright

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    (T. Do, Keck/UCLA Galactic Center Group)
    SPACE
    Our Galaxy's Supermassive Black Hole Has Emitted a Mysteriously Bright Flare

    MICHELLE STARR
    12 AUG 2019
    " The supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*, is relatively quiet. It's not an active nucleus, spewing light and heat into the space around it; most of the time, the black hole's activity is low key, with minimal fluctuations in its brightness.


    Most of the time. Recently, astronomers caught it going absolutely bananas, suddenly growing 75 times brighter before subsiding back to normal levels. That's the brightest we've ever seen Sgr A* in near-infrared wavelengths.

    "I was pretty surprised at first and then very excited," astronomer Tuan Do of the University of California Los Angeles told ScienceAlert.

    "The black hole was so bright I at first mistook it for the star S0-2, because I had never seen Sgr A* that bright. Over the next few frames, though, it was clear the source was variable and had to be the black hole. I knew almost right away there was probably something interesting going on with the black hole."

    But what? That's what astronomers are on a mission to find out. Their findings so far are currently in press with The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    Do and his team took observations of the galactic centre using the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii over four nights earlier this year. The strange brightening was observed on May 13, and the team managed to capture it in a timelapse, two hours condensed down to a few seconds. " - https://www.sciencealert.com/our-ga...le-just-mysteriously-got-really-really-bright

    Could be any number of reasons for the "flare"or the "Unprecedented variability of Sgr A* ".

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.01777
    " Unprecedented variability of Sgr A* in NIR
    The electromagnetic counterpart to the Galactic center supermassive black hole, Sgr A*, has been observed in the near-infrared for over 20 years and is known to be highly variable. We report new Keck Telescope observations showing that Sgr A* reached much brighter flux levels in 2019 than ever measured at near-infrared wavelengths. In the K′ band, Sgr A* reached flux levels of ∼6 mJy, twice the level of the previously observed peak flux from >13,000 measurements over 130 nights with the VLT and Keck Telescopes. We also observe a factor of 75 change in flux over a 2-hour time span with no obvious color changes between 1.6 μm and 2.1 μm. " - https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.01777
     
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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