The great accuracy of one of the instruments that equip the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has made it possible to make the most detailed observations to date of the orbiting material near a hole black, and by the same to confirm the presence of one of these supermassive monsters in the center of the Milky Way.
European astrophysicists have used the GRAVITY instrument to observe the emissions of infrared radiation from the accretion disk that surrounds the massive object in the heart of the Milky Way: the black hole Sagittarius A.”
Their observations showed the presence of gas swirling at a speed equivalent to 30% of that of light along a circular orbit located at the periphery of the event horizon.
This is the very first time that matter is observed so close to the point of no return of a black hole.
In addition, the luminosity bursts observed tend to confirm that the object in the center of our galaxy is indeed a supermassive black hole.
These bursts are emitted by matter that orbits very close to the horizon of events surrounding the black hole.
The following video shows the orbiting material near a black hole:
Last July, European astrophysicists used GRAVITY’s observations to highlight the effects of Einstein’s general relativity on the motion of a star (S2) passing through the intense gravitational field of Sagittarius A.”
It was the first time that Einstein’s theory of general relativity was confirmed in such an extreme environment. During the close flyby of S2, intense infrared radiation was also detected.
We followed the movement of S2 attentively while observing Sagittarius A *. During our observations, we had the chance to detect three brilliant eruptions from the vicinity of the black hole – it was a happy coincidence!
This emission from high energy electrons located very close to the black hole has resulted in the occurrence of three strong eruptions of light. This phenomenon is in perfect agreement with the theoretical predictions of hot spots in orbit around a black hole with 4 million solar masses. Eruptions that are supposed to come from magnetic interactions within the very hot gas orbiting very close to Sagittarius A.”
“It has always been one of our dreams, but we would never have dared to hope it would happen so quickly,” said Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute on Physics.