a new study by Professional magazine Nature. published by, that is, he described the first observation of radiation coming from behind a black hole; The spacetime around this supermassive object was bent due to distortion. According to the study’s authors, this is further proof of the veracity of Einstein’s general theory of relativity and how easily this physicist predicted future discoveries a hundred years ago.
“This is an extremely exciting result,” Edward Cackett, an astronomer at Wayne State University who did not participate in the study, told MIT Technology Review. “Although we’ve seen the signature of an X-ray resonance before, it’s not yet possible to isolate the echo coming from behind the black hole and bending it in our line of sight. This will allow us to better understand why.” How things fall into black holes and how black holes twist the spacetime around us.”
The release of energy through a black hole, sometimes in the form of X-rays, is an extreme process in which enormous amounts of energy are released. And because supermassive black holes release so much energy, they are essentially a kind of “powerhouse” that allows the galaxies around them to grow. Dan Wilkins, an astrophysicist at Stanford University, said, “If we want to understand how galaxies form, you have to understand these processes outside black holes, which are capable of releasing such vast amounts of energy that We study important sources of light.” and lead author.
galaxy far away
The study focused on a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy called I Zwicky 1 (abbreviated I Zw 1), which is located about 100 million light-years from Earth. In supermassive black holes, such as I Zw 1, a large amount of gas falls towards the center (i.e. the so-called event horizon, which basically has a point of no return) and flattens into the disk. Above the black hole, charged particles and a magnetic field coincide – the result is high-energy X-rays.
Some of these X-rays shine directly on Earth and are normally observable with binoculars. However, some of them shine down and bounce off the flat disk of gas. The rotation of black hole I Zw 1 slows at a faster rate than most supermassive black holes, allowing the surrounding gas and dust to fall more easily and supply mass to the black hole from multiple directions. This, in turn, leads to stronger X-rays than usual – and that is what Wilkins and his team were particularly interested in.
As Wilkins’ team observed the black hole, the researchers noticed that the black hole seemed to “flash”. These glows, caused by X-ray pulses reflected from a giant disk of gas, come from behind the black hole’s shadow—a spot usually hidden from astronomers. This is because the black hole bends the space around it, and the X-ray reflections bend around it, meaning we can see them on Earth as well.
Einstein was right again
Scientists have found the signals using two different space telescopes optimized for the search for X-rays in space: NuSTAR, operated by NASA, and XMM-Newton, operated by the European Space Agency.
The most important result of the new findings is that they confirm what Albert Einstein predicted in his 1963 general theory of relativity – the way light should bend around extremely massive objects, such as supermassive black holes.
“This is the first time we’ve actually seen light bend in our field of vision right behind a black hole, because of the way a black hole distorts the space around us,” Wilkins says.
“While this observation does not change our general picture of black holes, it is a good confirmation that the general theory of relativity plays a role in these systems,” said MIT astrophysicist Erin Carr, who did not participate in the study.
Despite their name, supermassive black holes are so distant that they actually look like separate points of light, even with the help of state-of-the-art equipment. Therefore, it would not be possible to photograph them all as scientists used the Event Horizon Telescope to capture the shadow of a supermassive black hole in the galaxy M87.
Professor Wilkins hopes that detecting and studying more of these X-ray echoes could help them create partial or complete images of distant supermassive black holes. This, in turn, could help them uncover some of the great mysteries of how supermassive black holes grow, sustain entire galaxies, and create an environment where the laws of physics begin to apply.
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