Astronomers Detect Light Behind Supermassive Black Hole

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Astronomers Detect Light Behind Supermassive Black Hole

In a landmark discovery, scientists have detected flares of X-ray light being emitted behind a supermassive black hole.


The findings of the research were recently published in a paper in Nature Communications. Stanford astrophysicist and lead author of the study, Dan Wilkins, said of the discovery in a statement release:


"Any light that goes into that black hole doesn't come out, so we shouldn't be able to see anything that's behind the black hole. The reason we can see that is because that black hole is warping space, bending light and twisting magnetic fields around itself."


The findings of the research are in line with Einstein's theory of general relativity, in which he had predicted the phenomenon even though this was yet to be confirmed in practice. However, recent technological advancements have finally allowed for the discovery to take place.


This is reportedly one of the most remarkable moments in the history of astronomy.


Roger Blandford, co-author of the paper and professor of physics at Stanford, said in the statement:


"Fifty years ago, when astrophysicists starting speculating about how the magnetic field might behave close to a black hole, they had no idea that one day we might have the techniques to observe this directly and see Einstein's general theory of relativity in action."


Prior to the discovery, the scientists were studying swirling halos of superheated gas, also known as coronas, that surround particular black holes. According to the findings, when these gases get caught up in the magnetic field of the black hole, they release X-rays, which are visible from Earth with the use of the right equipment.


Although our understanding of coronas is still limited, the upcoming Wide Field Imager detector from the European Space Agency, will allow for potentially higher resolution observations in the near future.


[h/t: Futurism]


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Thinking Humanity: Astronomers Detect Light Behind Supermassive Black Hole
Astronomers Detect Light Behind Supermassive Black Hole
In a landmark discovery, scientists have detected flares of X-ray light being emitted behind a supermassive black hole. The findings of the research
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