France: in the center of our galaxy discovered a second black hole

12.11.2004

12.11.2004


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Astronomers have discovered that the center of our galaxy are not one but two (at least) black holes, according to Nature.

It is known that at the center of almost every galaxy in the universe is either a supermassive black hole, or a whole cluster of them. Is no exception, and the Milky Way, although the presence of a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy has been confirmed only three years ago. Long known for "compact X-ray source" Sagittarius A * (Sagittarius A *) was a black hole whose mass is 2.6 million times the mass of the Sun.

Earlier, there were suspicions that this is actually a cluster of black holes srednemassivnyh. Now it turns out that black holes are actually two: a supermassive srednemassivnaya and which rotates at a distance of about three light-years from its giant "Sisters" and the whole of 1300 times the mass of our Sun on.

French astronomers of the Paris Institute of Astrophysics has long been studying the brightest region in the center of the galaxy, known as the IRS 13. Thanks to infrared observations of the Gemini Observatory in Mauna Kea, it was found that a cluster of seven stars, and not a whole object.

In the future, adding the data from the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra, scientists realized that the cluster orbits the previously unknown object — a black hole IRS 13E, which moves around Sagittarius A * at a speed of about 280 km / s.

According to the head of the group of French astrophysicists Jean-Pierre Mellyar for the first time within our Galaxy can detect a black hole of medium size. In addition, according to Mellyara, IRS 13 cluster emits X-ray flux, which is also an indirect indication of the presence of a black hole somewhere.

According to Mellyara, there is reason to believe that the small X-ray sources, scattered across the galaxy, are signs of the existence of these regions of compact black hole mass exceeding our sun is at most a factor of 2. But it remains to check and recheck.

As for the seven stars of the cluster IRS 13, judging by their color and size, it is quite young education. In turn, this means that these stars were formed at an impressive distance from the center of the galaxy and the black hole located there: gravity latter impedes the process of star formation — that is, makes the clouds of cosmic gas and dust to contract into stars. According to astronomers who observed them, these stars will burn and explode long before the supermassive Sagittarius A * swallow them.

Battery News, 11/11/2004 17:02
Source: Kompyulenta

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