You are watching: Is the center of the milky way a black hole
The idea that a supermassive black color hole in ~ the center of the Milky method is well-established, based partly on the orbit of particular stars like S0-2. Researchers study these objects in orbit together a method to extrapolate what they’re in reality orbiting around—in this case, “a supermassive black color hole 4 million time the mass of the Sun,” ScienceAlert explains.
That supermassive black color hole is referred to as Sagittarius A*. S0-2 and also other developed stars room pulled every which means in their orbits roughly Sagittarius A*, into too much orbits that researchers measure in bespeak to acquire some idea that what the supermassive black hole is all about. Think around how soap suds behave together water swirls down your drain and what that tells you about what the drainpipe is doing. Also if you couldn’t check out the drain directly, the behaviors around it would provide you clues.
Scientists are still conducting that kind of research, yet a new-to-us class of room objects is spreading a shadow over the black color hole theory. This objects “look favor gas however behave like stars,” physicist Andrea Ghez said ScienceAlert in 2020. Over there are 6 “G” objects the this kind, with orbits varying from 170 to 1,600 years long.
Recently, their wonky orbits have led to a new, completing theory to explain the center of the Milky Way.
In 2014, researchers observed thing G2 happen its closest allude to Sagittarius A* and become stretched out and distorted—a phenomenon recognized as drag. This, scientists from the International facility for Relativistic Astrophysics in Italy say, is a sign that Sagittarius A* could be something other than a supermassive black color hole.
In 2020, the same study team released findings that G2 and also S2 might be suffering the same various kind of gravitational pull close to Sagittarius A*. They say the way these objects law is more consistent with a specific kind the dark matter, In your side-by-side analysis of black hole versus dark matter as the explanation, dark matter was a better statistical fit.
Dark issue is matter that us can’t see, however we can measure it v its effect on gravity and also objects around it. Dark issue makes increase 30 percent that the massive of our universe, however it’s invisible and, so far, not straight observed. Yet its presence, in addition to the connected idea the dark energy, renders up a full of 99.5 percent that the massive of the universe about us and provides the absent piece to a ton of questions in physics and also cosmology.
Dark issue can and also does turn into black holes, however the researchers posit that Sagittarius A* is rather a blob-like mass that will call for a lot more material in order to turn into a black color hole. Because that now, it can just be a thick blob that still attracts adjacent objects together a black color hole does. And also if it is a sort of proto future black hole, that might explain how supermassive black color holes form in the very first place—something scientists have been perplexed by for decades.
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In this new study, welcomed for publishing by MNRAS Letters, the Italian, Argentinian, and Colombian scientists explain that not simply the directly affected G2 and S2 an are objects heat up v the dark issue theory. They’ve broadened their study to the closest, many well-understood stars orbiting Sagittarius A* and found those stars also behave consistently with a dark matter model.
So, what do these result mean? Well, when it concerns the swirling mysteries at the love of the galaxy, every news is good news. This scientists have actually put the end an ambitious new theory, and also subsequent work will either earlier them increase or respectfully disagree, citing different analysis and observation. That will continue to lead toward a far better understanding that supermassive black color holes and also of Sagittarius A* in particular, and could aid to resolve the mystery.
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