Black holes have always represented a fascinating subject for astronomers and science enthusiasts. Recently, a new discovery shocked experts – the very first confirmed heartbeat of a supermassive back hole is still going strong – ten years have already passed since this has been observed.
Pjhys.org notes that the X-ray satellite observations have spotted the repeated beat after the signal had been blocked by our Sun for a few years.
According to experts, this is the most long-lived heartbeat that’s been ever seen in a black hole. This tells people more about the size and structure close tot he event horizon of the monster black hole.
The same online publication mentioned above notes that the research that was led by the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, and Durham University, UK, appears in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The black hole’s heartbeat has been discovered for the very first time back in 2007 at the center of a galaxy called RE J1034+396.
It’s also important to note the fact that this is approximately 600 million light-years from Earth.
The signal was blocked in 2011
The signal from this galactic giant repeated every four hours and this behavior was seen in a few snapshots that have been taken before the satellite observations have been blocked back in 2011 by the Sun.
It’s been also revealed that the time between the beat of the black hole’s heart tells us details about its size, and the structure of the matter that’s close to the event horizon.
Professor Chris Done, in Durham University’s Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, said: “The main idea for how this heartbeat is formed is that the inner parts of the accretion disc are expanding and contracting.”
He continued and explained: “The only other system we know which seems to do the same thing is a 100,000 times smaller stellar-mass black hole in our Milky Way, fed by a binary companion star, with correspondingly smaller luminosities and timescales.”
Check out the complete article in order to learn more details.