NASA’s astronomers discovered an unique phenomenon with Markarian 335 Black Hole.
Two telescopes for astronomical observation, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array and NASA’s Explorer missions Swift, have managed to caught a supermassive black hole in the midst of a giant eruption of X-ray light.
“This is the first time we have been able to link the launching of the corona to a flare. This will help us understand how supermassive black holes power some of the brightest objects in the universe.” said Dan Wilkins of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, lead author of a new paper on the results appearing in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Until now it is known that black holes don’t give off any light themselves, many of them have been spoted being encircled by a disk of hot glowing material, resulting coronas made up of highly energetic particles that generate X-ray light.
Markarian 335(or Mrk 335) is located 324 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Pegasus. It sits at the center of the galaxy and it was once one of the brightest X-ray sources in the sky.
It’s possible, astronomers say, that coronas are likely to have two configurations
The “lampost”: similar to light bulbs, they are compact sources of light that sit above and below the black hole along its rotation axis.
The “sandwich” model keeps a surrounding disk of material like slices of bread.
“Something very strange happened in 2007, when Mrk 335 faded by a factor of 30. What we have found is that it continues to erupt in flares but has not reached the brightness levels and stability seen before,” said Luigi Gallo, the principal investigator for the project at Saint Mary’s University
That happened in 2007, but back in 2014, Swift caught Mrk 335 in a huge flare. A request to the NuSTAR team was quickly sent by Gallo once he found out. Eight days later, NuSTAR set its X-ray eyes on the target, finally witnessing the final half of the event. Putting this all together, they have released the results, showing that the X-ray flare was caused by the ejected corona.
“The nature of the energetic source of X-rays we call the corona is mysterious, but now with the ability to see dramatic changes like this we are getting clues about its size and structure,” said Fiona Harrison, the principal investigator of NuSTAR at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena
Article references: nasa.gov