Einstein was right.  For the first time, matter has been observed flowing into a black hole “like a river into a waterfall.”

For the first time, scientists have taken a closer look at a special region around a black hole. The “diving zone” is the region outside the inner boundary of the accretion disk from which material falls into the black hole. Albert Einstein predicted its existence.

Black hole for the first time We saw in 2019. Scientists then presented a historic image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy M87. Two years ago, we were able to get a closer look at our own black hole, Sagittarius A*, an object of this type located… In the middle of the Milky Way.

These images – and this year’s image of Sagittarius A*, which records polarized light – have an important feature in common. Well, actually There is no black hole visible on it. These things are inherently invisible. They have so much mass that they attract everything near them, even light. The orange rings in the pictures are The matter orbiting the black hole.

Scientists have just looked at its inner boundaries, located above the so-called event horizon. For the first time they saw the area predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory. This is the “sinking zone”: the area in which… The matter stops rotating around the black hole and falls directly into it.

The vortex material rotates It’s not just about black holes. So-called accretion disks also appear around neutron stars, quasars or white dwarfs for example. They are all sources of electromagnetic radiation, but to different degrees. The accretion disks of quasars emit the light of young stars – infrared, the light of black holes and neutron stars – X ray.

Andrew Mummery From the University of Oxford and his team used the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array Space Telescope (NuSTART), to record only… Light in the x-ray range. The device was used to monitor the MAXI J1820+070 binary system, located 10,000 km from Earth. Light year. One of its components is A black hole with a mass of 8.5 solar masses. The system is a source of powerful flares, which attracts the attention of astronomers (it has also been studied by Polish scientists from CAMK PAN).

Scientists from Oxford have developed models that describe the electromagnetic radiation reaching us from a black hole’s accretion disk. As it turns out, they agree with the NuSTAR data when, in addition to the light emitted by the rotating disk, we also take into account the light emitted by the rotating disk. Light emitted by matter in the “diving zone”.

Anything that ends up in this region stops rotating around the black hole. falls on her It is approaching the speed of light. -It’s like a river that turns into a waterfall. “But so far we have only observed the river,” Andrew Mummery told New Scientist. The researcher adds: “If Einstein was wrong, we would have seen the entire length of the river.”

However, the waterfall is also present It affects the amount of electromagnetic radiation Emitted by a black hole. This is a bit of a surprise to scientists. So far they have assumed that when matter crosses the inner boundary of the accretion disk and flies toward the event horizon, there is very little time for it to emit any radiation.

This discovery explains one of the phenomena associated with black holes. Observations showed that it was rotating A little faster than theory suggests. Because the flare is related to rotation, observing additional light from the “immersion zone” makes the theory consistent with the data.

Scientists are planning More research into this wonderful field and the conditions prevailing there. “Technically, if it was a missile, it could escape the diving zone,” says Mummery. -However, she is doomed to fail: her The orbit becomes unstable It accelerates rapidly to the speed of light. The scientist adds that it has the same chance of returning as water flowing into a waterfall. So in practice, nothing.

source: new world, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Astronomy and astrophysics.

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