Most of the galaxies have supermassive black holes present in the center and our Milky Way is no exception. The other galaxies have extremely active black holes, which mean a lot of material is falling into them constantly followed by the emission of high-energy radiation during this “feeding” process. Our galaxy’s central black hole is comparatively quiet. NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, has made a few new observations that can help scientists understand the discrepancy between active and silent black holes. The data can provide some more information on the strong magnetic field at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy. The researchers made use of SOFIA’s latest equipment including the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus (HAWC+) to conclude these measurements.
The charged particles have their paths influenced by the magnetic fields, which are invisible forces that have extreme effects on the evolution and motions of matter throughout the Universe. The HAWC+ instrument identifies polarized far-infrared light released by celestial dust grains that align perpendicularly to magnetic fields. Using SOFIA results, the astronomers can figure out the shape and infer the strength of the invisible magnetic field. SOFIA had earlier found the ring of gas and dust orbiting the Milky Way’s black hole, which known as Sagittarius A*. The new HAWC+ data helps understand the magnetic field in the area.
The magnetic field or the gravity of the black hole dominates the dynamics of the center of the Milky Way. The magnetic field is so strong that it can control the turbulence level of the gases. Researchers combined mid- and far-infrared SOFIA’s camera images with new technologies that captured the magnetic field. The images show the magnetic field to be spiral and channel gas into the orbit circling the black hole. The new SOFIA and HAWC+ observations can help understand the silent mode of our black hole.
Scot Gallegos pursued a Master’s Degree in Astrology from a US-based university. He manages to handle science-related topics, which specifically includes research activities in the field of Space and Science. His coverage over the recent space exploration is phenomenal. Scot is quite experienced in playing with words, while due to his good understanding regarding space and technology-related concepts, Daily Industry Updates news portal has offered him the post of Content Editor. During his spare time, he updates his knowledge regarding Space and the Universe by reading space journals and books. He has set up a separate books section in his living room.