Scientists discover the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way's center is acting weird

The supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy is acting strange, as it appears to pulsate every 76 minutes like clockwork.

1 minute & 5 seconds read time

Something strange is happening at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, or at least that is what scientists are reporting after observing the supermassive blackhole named Sagittarius A*.

Sagittarius A*

Sagittarius A*

At the center of the Milky Way galaxy is a supermassive black hole named Sagittarius A*, and while it's not considered to be very active, meaning it isn't consuming a large amount of its surroundings, it's still eating some material. Now, astrophysicists Gustavo Magallanes-Guijón and Sergio Mendoza of the National Autonomous University of Mexico have analyzed gamma-ray data on Sagittarius A* that was acquired by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in December 2022.

The astrophysicists began looking for any patterns within the data and discovered that every 76.32 minutes, the supermassive black hole shoots out a flare of gamma radiation, which is the most energetic wavelength range of light in the known universe. Furthermore, the team discovered a radio flare that happens as often as the gamma-ray flare. On top of that, the astrophysicists discovered an X-ray flare occurs every 149 minutes, double the periodicity of the gamma-ray flare.

So, what does this mean? Black holes themselves don't emit any radiation, but their event horizon is another matter entirely. According to the team, these results indicate there is a physical object within the black hole event horizon that is causing these flares. This would explain the periodicity of the flares, along with the radio waves. What is the object? The astrophysicists believe it's likely a blob of hot gas that is bound together by an extremely strong magnetic field.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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