Astronomers find out why black holes twinkle

The story starts with the 1ES 1927+654 galaxy, which shortly stopped emitting X-ray first and then resumed and increased in intensity. The potential observations of the black hole represents an exclusive situation, noticeable from 236 million light-years.

According to author Sibasish Laha, who is a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and also at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, this is the first time they have seen X-rays blacking out completely while other wavelengths become brighter.

This event may help astrophysicists in understanding how such diversions affect the Black Hole’s environment, if they can confirm that the outburst was a result of a  supermassive black hole changing its magnetic field at the heart of the galaxy.

There is a massive black hole embedded in the heart of the Milky Way galaxy that pulls matters towards its center. The matters are first collected in an accession disc that surrounds the black hole after which it heats up and starts emitting light, as the matter is pushed inside.

As the matter is pushed inside, it forms a corona which is a cloud made up of extremely hot particles. A recent study suggests that transformations in the corona can be the cause of X-rays streaming from the heart of the 1ES 1927+654 galaxy to disappear temporarily.

The North Pole will become the South Pole and vice versa if a magnetic reversal took place. And as result of excessive heating, UV light and visibility should increase towards the center of the galaxy.

Researchers suggest that as the flip expands, the field becomes so weak that it cannot support the Corona any longer, forcing the X-ray emissions to stop.

The idea matches the observations of the galaxy, as X-ray emissions re-emerged roughly four months after its disappearance, in October 2018. This suggested that a magnetic reversal took place and the galaxy returned to pre-eruption X-ray emissions in 2021.

The changes in X-rays and ultra-violet rays were tracked by two space telescopes including the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory satellites. Radio and visible light observations were also performed from different ground-based telescopes in locations like the Canary Islands, New Mexico and Italy.

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