A hot gas bubble has been spotted spinning violently around the black hole of the Milky Way

On Thursday, astronomers said they had spotted a hot bubble of gas spinning clockwise around the black hole at its center Milky Way At “amazing” speeds.

It is hoped that the discovery of the bubble, which only survived for a few hours, will provide insight into how these insatiable, invisible galactic monsters operate.

The supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* lurks in the middle of the Milky Way, about 27,000 light-years away. a landand its colossal pull gives us Homepage Its characteristic vortex galaxy.

The first-ever image of Sagittarius A* was revealed in May by the event horizon telescope Collaboration, which connects radio dishes around the world with the goal of detecting light as it disappears into the hiatus of black holes.

One such dish, the ALMA Radio Telescope in the Andes in Chile, has captured something “really puzzling” in the A* arc data, said Masek Wilgus, an astrophysicist at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy.

Just minutes before ALMA radio Data collection started, Chandra space telescope Wilgus told AFP he had noticed a “huge spike” in the X-ray images.

The burst of energy, thought to resemble solar flares on the Sun, sent a hot bubble of gas orbiting the black hole, according to a new study published in the Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The gas bubble, also known as the hot spot, had an orbit similar to Mercury’s flight around the world Sunsaid lead author of the study Wilgus.

But while it takes Mercury 88 days to make this journey, Bubble has done it in just 70 minutes. This means that it traveled at about 30% of the speed of light.

“So it’s a ridiculously fast spinning bubble,” Wilgus said, describing it as “mind-blowing.”

Mad theory

Scientists were able to track the bubble through their data around it One And half an hour – it was unlikely that he would have survived more than two before he was destroyed.

Wielgus said the observation supports a theory known as MAD. “Mad like crazy, but also mad like disks that have been magnetically caught,” he said.

This phenomenon is believed to occur when there is a strong magnetic field in the black hole’s mouth that prevents material from being sucked in.

but the issue It continues to build up, Wilgus said, creating a “flushing eruption,” which picks up magnetic fields and causes an explosion of energy.

By learning how these magnetic fields work, scientists hope to build a model for the forces that control black holes, which are still shrouded in mystery.

Magnetic fields can also help determine speed black holes Spin – which might be particularly interesting for arc A*.

While Sagittarius A* has a mass of four million times the mass of our sun, it shines as powerfully as about 100 suns, “which isn’t very impressive for a supermassive black hole,” Wilgus said.

“It is the weakest supermassive black hole we have ever seen Universe – We only saw her because she’s so close to us. “

It may be a good thing, Wilgus said, that our galaxy has a “hungry black hole” at its center.

He added that “living next to a quasar” that can shine as bright as billions of suns “would be a terrible thing.”