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Astronomers Spot Unprecedented Flashes From Our Galaxy's Black Hole

Astronomers Spot Unprecedented Flashes From Our Galaxy's Black Hole

Scientists decided that something interesting is definitely going on to make Sgr A* act so freaky. However, in May, scientists from all around the world detected an "unprecedented" bright flash coming from the black hole.

The black hole known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) is situated in the middle of the Milky Way, just 26,000 light-years from Earth, according to NASA.

Tuan Do, from UCLA, and colleagues spent four night observing Sagittarius A a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.sciencealert.com/our-galaxy-s-supermassive-black-hole-just-mysteriously-got-really-really-bright" target="_blank" *ScienceAlert reports.

One of the biggest observing campaigns ever performed by Chandra has provided new understanding into why gas near the giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way is extraordinarily faint in X-rays.

The galaxy, Holm 15A, sits around 700 million light-years away, making it somewhat hard to study in detail, but what scientists know for sure is that the black hole in its heart is the largest ever discovered.

Do tweeted a time lapse of the event on Saturday.

The scientists hope more observations of Sgr A* will help them sort out what the massive black hole is doing.

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Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole located at the center of our galaxy, recently emitted a remarkably bright flash - 75 times brighter than black hole's normal glow, Newsweek reported Monday.

Ben Price is a 30-something-year-old from Halifax Nova Scotia that loves to share his passion for all things Canadian. A team of researchers used the data gathered by the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii over four nights in May.

For instance, black holes are often surrounded by an "accretion disc" of gas and other material which shines brightly due to the forces of friction and gravity.

Researchers believe that the odd "glow" may relate to gas clouds or stars which orbit the enormous black hole.

The researchers think such an interaction could have caused this bright flash.

"One of the possibilities", Do told ScienceAlert, "is that the star S0-2, when it passed close to the black hole past year, changed the way gas flows into the black hole, and so more gas is falling on it, leading it to become more variable". One is G2, an object thought to be a gas cloud that approached within 36 light-hours of Sgr A* in 2014. There were no cosmic fireworks at the time, but we could be seeing a delayed reaction. Our black hole, Sagittarius A*, is not known to typically show such oscillating behaviour over long periods of time, let alone a mere couple of days. According to the new paper, the recent flare brought Sgr A* to twice the brightness of the highest previous measurement to date.