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“Unprecedented explosion”: what happened in a distant galaxy

«Беспрецедентный взрыв»: что стряслось в далекой галактике

The largest in the history of observations, the explosion was noticed by the astronomers in the distant galaxy. See it allowed data obtained with ground and space telescopes.

Not only as the largest explosion in the Universe called scientists, followed by the world’s media event, the echoes of which were able to capture astronomers. This cataclysm occurred in the black hole in a distant cluster of galaxies millions of light years from Earth.

“In a sense, this explosion-like eruption of mount St. Helens in 1980 in the United States, demolished the top of the mountain, — said Simon of Giacintucci of the Scientific-research laboratory of the U.S. Navy, author of the study. The key difference is that the resulting “crater” in the gas of clusters of galaxies the size of our galaxies 15 the milky way”.

The discovery was made using x-ray space Observatory Chandra and the European space telescope XMM-Newton, as well as data received by radio telescopes in Australia, MWA and GMRT, and India. The blast recorded in the galaxy cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus, the distance reached 390 million light-years.

Clusters of galaxies — the largest structures in the Universe that are saved due to gravity consist of thousands of individual galaxies, hot gas and dark matter. According to scientists, in the very center of the cluster in Ophiuchus is a large galaxy containing a supermassive black hole.

This hole, according to astronomers and was the source of a massive explosion.

It is known that black holes capture the falling substance, however, the known and the reverse process, when the falling matter forms the so-called jets emanating in different directions from the poles of the black hole. The matter in these jets often falls on the surrounding black hole matter. The first signs of the explosion was seen even in 2016 on the basis of observations of clusters with Chandra telescope when the astronomer Norbert Werner drew attention to the unusual clear edge in the image of the cluster. Scientists have suggested that see the wall of the cavity, which was created by the hot gas jet emanating from a supermassive black hole. However, they rejected this assumption because the formation of such a cavity would require a huge energy, they thought.

In their study, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical journal, Giacintucci with colleagues came to the conclusion that this explosion in fact took place. First, this region was seen by the XMM-Newton telescope, which confirmed the observations of Chandra.

Second, using archival data from two radio telescopes, astronomers have shown that this feature was indeed the edge of the cavity as it borders an area filled with radiation. This radiation is generated by electrons accelerated to near-light speeds near a black hole. “The data in radio and x-rays talking about the same, — said Maxim Markevitch, a co-author of the work of the Space center of a name of Goddard.

— This is a decisive argument, which pointed us to an explosion of unprecedented scale that occurred there.”

Astronomers have calculated that the energy required to create such huge cavities around the black hole is about five times higher (5*1061эрг) than the previous record explosion, which was recorded in the cluster MS 0735+74, and hundreds of thousands of times higher than in the typical explosions in clusters of galaxies. The explosion, which they say the data has stopped because astronomers do not see any evidence of jets in the radio data. This is confirmed by the data from Chandra, which showed that the dense and cold region of gas seen in x-rays, currently moved with respect to the Central galaxy.

One of the mysteries is why is visible to only one area of radio emission, because the same region is usually visible from the opposite from the black hole side. Scientists suggest that the gas on the other hand the clusters less dense, so the radio waves are damped faster.

“As often happens in astrophysics, we need multiwavelength observations to confidently understand the physics of the process at work, — says Melanie Johnston-Hollitt, co-author of Australia — Data from x-ray and radio telescopes have allowed to open an unusual source, but more data will be required to answer the remaining questions.”

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