Research, Technology

On May 12, astronomers will announce the largest scientific discovery

Observations of stars, planets and galaxiesshowed what a tiny grain of sand in the infinite space our planet is. And yet we have something to boast about: we study the solar system, proved the existence of gravitational waves, and even enjoyed the first ever picture of the event horizon of a black hole. And yet our Galaxy is full of secrets. For example, the galactic center, located at a distance of about 24,000 light years from Earth, is not visible in optical light due to heavy obscuration by interstellar dust. Fortunately, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team came to the aid of astronomers, which a few years ago gave the world an image of a black hole (more precisely, its shadow). The groundbreaking new discovery will be announced at a conference on March 12. We understand how astronomers can surprise us.

There are between 100 and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Mystery of the Galactic Center

Billions of stars and planets are dancingrevolving around the center of the Milky Way. At its very heart is believed to be a supermassive black hole 4.3 million times more massive than the Sun. Sagittarius A* (scientifically Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*) is probably surrounded by a hot radio-emitting gas cloud and has been an object of study for about five years.

To find out exactly what isGalactic Center, scientists needed eight ground-based radio telescopes located around the globe. At a conference on May 12, 2022, the EHT team and researchers from the European Southern Observatory will announce a groundbreaking discovery, according to an official statement from the US National Science Foundation (NSF).

The center of the Milky Way hides many secrets

The US National Science Foundation, in conjunction with the Event Horizon Telescope, will hold a press conference to announce a groundbreaking discovery in the Milky Way, an official statement said.

According to media reports, the researchers will presentworld photograph of the galactic center of the Milky Way. True, what exactly the astronomers are preparing is not known for certain, so the astonished public will have to wait a bit.

By the way, did you know that from the center of the Milky WayIs there a strange, repeating signal? Researchers believe that its source is an unknown space object. Read more about the new discovery here.

How does the heart of the Galaxy "beat"?

Earlier with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)astronomers have been studying the supermassive monster at the center of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87), which we have been enjoying for three years now. Compared to M87, Sagittarius A* is much closer to Earth and significantly smaller than M87. But why was Sagittarius A* more difficult to observe than M87?

The fact is that in the heart of the Milky Way muchmore cosmic gas and dust, which interfere with the work of radio telescopes and raise questions from researchers. For example, how the EHT team was able to overcome this hurdle to supposedly get another image of a black hole (or something more amazing).

Many years ago we thought that we would have to builda very large space telescope to image a black hole. But by making radio telescopes around the world work together as a single instrument, the EHT team was ahead of its time, reporting a discovery ten years earlier than most scientists thought, NASA's Paul Hertz said in a statement.

This is what the event horizon of the black hole M87 looks like

The groundbreaking discovery, the researchers say, was made possible by studying the M87 black hole, as astronomers also observed Sagittarius A*, eventually discovering traces of powerful cosmic cataclysms, behind which there may be previously unknown phenomena.

X-rays can easily pass through the veil of space. The creation of such astronomical instruments for the first time in history allowed humanity to look so far into the Universe.

New space phenomenon

The center of the Milky Way is the point around whichthe galaxy rotates. The supermassive black hole located there absorbs all the matter surrounding it, which falls into the space monster with tremendous acceleration. Streams of gas rush towards the black hole at lightning speed, collide with each other and heat up more and more.

Because of this cosmic phenomenon, the black holeceases to be black as a cloud of hot plasma causes this massive object to shine like a thousand suns. Sagittarius A* spews streams of matter into outer space, despite the gravity of the massive monster.

Astronomers scan space with powerful telescopes

The researchers note that many previously unknown processes are taking place in the heart of the Milky Way.

In addition, the activity of a black hole has a significant impact on the entire galaxy: Powerful radiation emanating from Sagittarius A* interferes with the formation of stars and possibly regularly destroys nearby planets.

Nevertheless, Sagittarius A * is relatively calm in terms ofcompared to supermassive black holes in other galaxies. Astronomers are looking for reasons why this is happening, pinning their hopes on the James Webb Space Telescope, which will show new data about the structure of the Universe in early June.

You can read about what discoveries await humanity thanks to the James Webb telescope here.

The ability of the new telescope will detectinfrared light, giving us an accurate view of the region surrounding a black hole. So the Webb telescope will help astronomers calculate the mass of Sagittarius A* by exploring the relationship between a black hole and the matter surrounding it. Impressive, isn't it?

The Milky Way, according to many researchers, life exists in many of the 300 million potentially habitable worlds.

As mentioned at the beginning of the article,A press conference will take place on May 12 at 6:30 pm (IST) on May 12 with an opening address from NSF Chief Operating Officer Karen Marrongell. Following the press conference, ESO will also host an online event on the same platform and host an interactive live Q&A session.

Although scientists have previously studied a jet extendingmore than 1000 light-years from the center of M87, in 2019 alone they were able to photograph the black hole of their home galaxy. In a study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers have unveiled a new map of the center of the Milky Way.

You can watch the conference on the official ESO website and on the ESO YouTube channel.

And so that the wait is not a burden, we offer to refresh your memory most detailed map location of black holes in the universe. Look forward to. How do you think astronomers will surprise us? As always, we are waiting for the answer here and in the comments to this article.