Russian scientists talk about a bright event in the center of the Milky Way
An event of a galactic scale, to which the attention of all astrophysicists of the world has been riveted for more than a week, is reported in Roscosmos. In the course of planned observations of the region of the Galactic Center – the core, which once gave rise to the formation of our galactic system, a new black hole was discovered. The brightness of the glow of the object Swift J1727.8-1613 is one of the three largest events in the last 10 years.
An artist's view of a supermassive black hole swallowing a star.
Russian astrophysicist, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Deputy Director for Research at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI RAS) Alexander Lutovinov spoke about the discovery:
– This new object, which was given the name Swift J1727.8- 1613, appeared about a week ago. Since August 24th, it has become the brightest object currently observed in X-rays. Naturally, almost all the world's observatories immediately pointed towards the center of our Galaxy, where the outburst occurred.
It is noteworthy that the flare itself was registered by the SWIFT observatories (after which the new object got its name) and INTEGRAL. Moreover, the latter at that moment was conducting observations of the region of the center of the Galaxy at the request of Russian scientists from the IKI RAS. Soon, the appearance of a new object in the sky was confirmed by other observatories, including ground-based ones, which conduct observations in the optical range. The extreme brightness of the source in X-rays was confirmed on August 27 by the results of observations by the ART-XC telescope named after. Mikhail Pavlinsky of the Russian observatory Spektr-RG. According to scientists, they temporarily interrupted all previous ART-XC programs and began to observe the brightest event in the sky.
Shadow Snapshot supermassive black hole Sagittarius A at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
– Not certainly in that way. The INTEGRAL observatory carried out planned observations of the region of the Galactic Center at the request of Academician Rashid Alievich Sunyaev. And at some point, a trigger went off about the appearance of a bright event in the field of view. Approximately at the same time, a similar trigger worked at the SWIFT observatory, after which information about the event was automatically distributed among scientists. The value and uniqueness of the data obtained by the INTEGRAL observatory lies in the fact that they contain information about the first hours of the development of an X-ray flash – in fact, we see its growth in hard X-ray in real time.
– According to preliminary data, this is a black hole, unknown before, which is located in our Galaxy, and which very quickly became extremely bright. For example, the ART-XC telescope registered approximately 30 million photons from its side and the so-called quasi-periodic oscillations (oscillations or flickers of the X-ray emission of an astronomical object at certain frequencies – Auth.).
– They are associated with the rotation and precession (change in the direction of the axis of rotation – Auth.) of the internal orbits of the accretion disk – a ring structure that appears around a black hole as a result of the fall of stellar matter onto it.
– Yes, a black hole, which usually does not glow, reveals itself only in this way, at the moment of “eating” the matter of a nearby star. This happens after certain evolutionary processes on the star, when it suddenly begins to overflow the so-called Roche lobe (this is the area where the equilibrium point between two astronomical objects is located), and the matter begins to flow into the black hole.
– There are no exact estimates of the mass of this object yet, as well as the exact distance, its lower limit is estimated at about 10,000 light years (about 3 kiloparsecs).
– In our Galaxy there are several dozen known black holes. However, by the strength of the outbreak of the latter, not everyone can compare with it. Perhaps Swift J1727.8-1613 is one of the three brightest X-ray events in the last decade. In any case, we intend to continue monitoring it and, hopefully, will refine many of its parameters.