bursting with joy as they have detected the first visible light detected as matter falls into a black hole. Even more importantly is that anyone with a moderate-sized telescope can see the surprising phenomenon.
- Astronomers detect flashes of light near a black hole
- Active black hole V404 Cygni bursts with light as matter superheats around it
- The phenomenon is visible with amateur telescopes as well
Nothing can escape the clutches of a black hole, so researchers are extremely interested in the yielding insights into how matter acts as it swirls into a black hole.
But because of the superheating process that takes place when dust and gas fall into these giant suckers, the matter reaches a point where it glows ever so brightly – right before it disappears into the black hole.
This precise glow is what Japanese researchers detected in June of last year around the active black hole V404 Cygni. After a 26-year period of insignificant activity, the black hole seemed to awaken and emit flashes of light.
According to the report in the journal Nature, the bursts of light spotted by telescopes last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. That’s why amateur astronomers that own a 7-inch telescope can also see them.
It was also noted that this kinds of black holes outbursts were previously detected only through intense emissions of gamma-rays or X-rays.
In fact, this very detection of rays bursting from V404 Cygni was exactly what prompted the Japanese researchers to make a worldwide call for other astronomers to focus their optical telescopes on the black hole.
Consequently, the recent research of Mariko Kimura of Kyoto University concluded that visible light – observed through optical rays – is now enough for scientists to make observations of other words; high-spec X-ray or gamma-ray telescopes are no longer needed for the study of black holes.
Located in the constellation of Cygnus – the Swan – V404 Cygni is a binary system featuring a massive black hole (roughly nine times the mass of our sun) and a companion star slightly smaller than the sun. The two celestial bodies orbit each other every 6 and a half terrestrial days.
Astronomers have focused on the black hole in V404 Cygni in their study because it is one of the closest to Earth – that is, roughly 7,800 light-years away from our planet.
So far, 35 telescopes at 26 locations are oriented towards the black hole, but more international cooperation is still called for the observation of black-hole binaries.
Image Source: Esabuy cialis from uk