Black holes remain one of the most considerable mysteries in the Universe. They are invisible to us, and the scientists only managed to capture one in an image back in April this year. However, we can detect them and explore them even though we can’t see them. Now, according to new research, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, dubbed as Sagittarius A, is more active than ever.
That means Sagittarius A is now devouring more surrounding matter, as it’s growing hungrier. “We have never seen anything like this in the 24 years we have studied the supermassive black hole. It’s usually a pretty quiet, wimpy black hole on a diet. We don’t know what is driving this big feast,” said Andrea Ghez from the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of the study’s authors.
For their new study, the scientists reviewed about 13,000 previous observations on Sagittarius A collected by the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile.
Supermassive Black Hole At The Center of The Milky Way Is Getting Hungrier
As reported by Andrea Ghez, on May 13th, the area surrounding Sagittarius A was brighter than ever. The same was observed in other recent observations, too. These changes have never been seen until now. The scientists added that, not once in the past 25 years, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way showed such puzzling activity.
“The big question is whether the black hole is entering a new phase (…) and the rate of gas falling down the black hole drain has increased for an extended period, or whether we have just seen the fireworks from a few unusual blobs of gas falling in,” added Mark Morris, one of the authors of the study, also a professor at UCLA.
One theory to explain the hyperactivity of the supermassive black hole says that the activity of Sagittarius A is due to the approach of another black hole. Another hypothesis says that the close flyby of a binary system activated Sagittarius A more than ever.