Astronomers have long been studying the center of the milky Way, which is a supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* at the mass, surpassing our Sun in 4 million times. But thanks to technology, scientists have new tools for observation, allowing to consider the center of the milky Way in the new details. Therefore, in the environment of Sagittarius A* often found a new, incredibly amazing details.
In 2016, astronomers from northwestern University in Evanston (USA) reported the discovery of unusual curved “string” length 2.3 light-years, which, under assumptions, may take its origin somewhere near the center of the milky Way, but at the time to consider the object in detail did not allow the level of output quality.
Thread a length of 2.3 light-years and a supermassive black hole Sagittarius a* located in the center of our galaxy
To test the hypothesis decided the team of astronomers from the University of California at Los Angeles (USA). Scientists have developed a new method of observation, which eventually allowed us to obtain high-resolution radio image of the Central region of our galaxy. The results of the work, the researchers shared in the Astrophysical journal.
“With the improved image, we were able to review the thread in its entirety, finding that she is very close to the supermassive black hole, almost near its event horizon. But there is still much work to figure out the true nature of this mysterious object,” says the study’s lead author mark Morris.
What scientists saw?
Researchers have proposed three versions of the origin of the giant thread. The first is the interaction of the magnetic fields of supermassive black holes and high-speed particles escaping from her.
According to the second, more fantastic, the thread is a hypothetical relict cosmic string is a very long and extremely thin, with a diameter of 10-29 centimeters. Previously, theorists had predicted the existence of cosmic strings and notes that these objects may migrate in the centers of galaxies. See cosmic string directly, of course, impossible, but she, like any very massive object, creates the effect of gravitational lensing, which it actually claims to be.
Finally, under the third assumption, between the observed object and the black hole there is no real connection. In this case, its nature is even more mysterious.
“The answer to the question of what we eventually saw us yet. But finding this answer is very fascinating. The results of our observations can motivate astronomers to create the next generation of radio telescopes, with a new, more advanced technologies,” commented June high, study co-author from the Harvard-Smithsonian center for astrophysics in Cambridge (USA).
Proof of any of the assumptions will provide scientists with new knowledge. If, for example, it appears that the thread has been generated by the emission of particles from a supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, it will give important information about the magnetic field of its environment, pointing out that it is smooth and orderly and not chaotic.
If confirmed, that thread is a cosmic string, it will be the first real proof of highly speculative hypotheses, and perhaps even revolutionize our understanding of gravity, space-time and the Universe itself.
If you find that thread physically has nothing to do with the supermassive black hole at the galactic center, and that doesn’t make it less interesting. Scientists are very interested in the shape of its bending. It is very unusual. Perhaps it was caused by the shock wave from the supernova explosion of opposing the powerful winds from massive stars surrounding the black hole.
“We will continue our research until we get a convincing explanation of the nature of this object. For this, you will need to get more pictures of better quality. I hope that we will get them in the near future,” added study co-author Miller Goss of the National radio astronomy Observatory (USA).