September 24, 2022

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A huge black hole has leaked into our galaxy

Black holes: how much we really know about them

The idea that there could be such a huge body in the abyss of the universe that not even light could escape from it was postulated in 1783 by the English geologist John Michell in a paper sent to the Royal Society. For the next two centuries, black holes served as a black magic for the world of astronomy. There is no doubt that the eminent late had a great contribution to their identification Physicist Stephen Hawking.

Now our knowledge of these things is growing rapidly. In April 2019, scientists from the project event horizontal telescope It published the first-ever shadow image of a black hole’s event horizon. We will never see a picture of the black hole itself, because these objects have such strong gravity that they absorb light that could illuminate them, and thus remain in the shadows.

It was a historic moment in the world of astronomy and the study of these wonderful things. Humanity united and created the scientific program ETH, as a result of which a global network of radio telescopes was created. Weekly Observation of the Black Hole in the Center Galaxy M87, made it possible to obtain valuable data about this object.

The Event Horizon Telescope is a network of about 20 wireless antennas scattered around the world, paired in such a way that they form one large A dish the size of the whole earth. The system uses a technology called Large Base Interferometry (VLBI), which requires the use of telescopes that are spaced apart, and observing the same object from a different angle, allowing for a high-resolution image to be created. The angle accuracy is 20 arcseconds. It’s like being at the Eiffel Tower and being able to read a newspaper hanging on the wall in New York.

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Thanks to EHT, we found out Black hole in the center of galaxy M87 It has a mass of 6.5 billion solar masses and is 55 million light years away. The shadow itself (the dark area in the center of the attached image) has a size of 40 billion km and the event horizon is about 2.5 times smaller. Galaxy M87 is the largest and brightest object in the constellation Virgo.

We recently heard exciting information about it Black holes can produce gold or silver. Until now, astronomers believed that gold could be formed by nuclear fusion. This means that it is very difficult to produce them. This element usually arises in the collision of neutron stars, where, as a result of nuclear fusion, at enormous temperatures, lighter nuclei fuse with each other into heavier nuclei. The problem is that neutron stars rarely collide and can form gold.

Scientists begin to wonder about this fact, because there are very large deposits of gold in the universe. It was then that the idea emerged that black holes could be producers of this precious metal on Earth. Astronomers explain that these elements could be a “by-product” of the black hole’s normal life as it sucks gas from surrounding space. Production is carried out under harsh conditions. Long neutrino emission It should facilitate the conversion of protons into neutrons, resulting in an excess of the latter, which is necessary for the production of heavy elements.

Only a year ago, information emerged that some black holes are so large that astronomers came up with a new size class for them. we’ve got supermassive black holesThere are even supermassive black holes, and now a whole new type of amazingly large black hole has arrived at them. These names may sound funny, but they show how many mysteries black holes hide and how many mysteries lie ahead.

Previous models have shown an upper limit of black hole masses of about 50 billion solar masses. This is the limit required for the massive mass of an object Accumulation disk So huge that it will crumble under its own gravity. Based on a model of primordial black holes, scientists have calculated the exact size of these objects. It turns out that between 100 billion and 1 quintillion (one and 18 zeros) are the masses of the Sun. Here we must not forget that in the heart of the Milky Way is Sagittarius A *, i.e. Black hole 4 million times the mass of the sun. These numbers make us realize how powerful these objects are and at the same time how small the black hole is in the center of our galaxy.

Last year, astronomers had another reason to celebrate when it turned out that the theory put forward by Stephen Hawking in 1971 had become a reality. It’s about analyzing the first detection of gravitational waves made in 2015. Event GW150914 is a short burst recorded by the LIGO interferometer that changed everything. This was the first direct discovery of not one, but two black holes. They bumped into each other and formed Bigger black hole.

new black hole I sent a weak signal, like ringing a bell. In 2019, the Isi team developed a method for detecting this resonance signal. If the event horizon is likely to shrink, then the event horizon of the last molten black hole must be smaller than the event horizon of the two black holes you created.

According to the calculations, the total area of ​​u200bu200bthe event horizon of the two smaller apertures is 235 thousand square kilometers. The last black hole was 367,000 square kilometers. The analyzes confirmed Hawking’s claim that the area of ​​the black hole’s event horizon can only expand, but never decrease.