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This Supermassive Black Hole At Our Galaxy's Center Suddenly Lit Up And Scientists Don't Know Why

space

that vast realm full of more mysteries

than certainties

constantly taunting those researchers

who peer through telescope lenses

at the immeasurable emptiness that lies

beyond our atmosphere

although new discoveries are constantly

being made thanks to the constantly

improving technology that we have at our

disposal

these discoveries do not always provide

us with exact answers about space

in fact frequently a new discovery means

uncovering even more mysterious

and unanswerable questions so today here

at unexplained mysteries

we'll be taking a look at three

interesting space discoveries

the supermassive black hole at our

galaxy's center

suddenly lit up black holes are an

entity that many space fanatics are

fascinated with

and sagittarius a star is no exception

despite the connotations of the name a

black hole is far from empty

in fact on average black holes contain

roughly 10 times the matter

of our sun squeezed into an area roughly

equal

to that of new york city this incredibly

concentrated mass

is one of the most massively dense areas

in the universe

and has such a large gravitational pull

that nothing

not even light particles can escape

creating the visual impression of a

great emptiness

because no light electromagnetic or

radio waves can escape a black hole

they can't be viewed with any telescope

or imaging methods

and the presence of a black hole must be

deduced through studying the effect

on its gravitational pull on nearby mata

as dust and gas are rapidly sucked in by

this massive gravitational pull

a large amount of heat is generated

which gives off a flickering glow

when viewed with an ultraviolet

telescope this vacuum-like phenomenon

is called accretion and the flaming disk

around the mouth is known as the

accretion disk

residing at the galactic center of the

milky way and measuring over 22 million

kilometers wide with a mass

equal to that of 3.6 million suns

sagittarius a star

has been classified as a supermassive

black hole by nasa

within the past year scientists have

noticed that sagittarius a star's

accretion disk

has begun flaring approximately 75 times

brighter than it has in the 20 years

since monitoring first began since space

has existed for billions of years

it has established a pattern of relative

constancy and predictability so any

change in behaviors

of galactic bodies is noteworthy

although researchers are unsure as to

the exact reason why the secretion glow

is so much brighter

they theorize that it could be that more

gas is being sucked into the mouth

causing more heat to be generated a

second theory speculates

that a large gaseous object named g2

which has been approaching sagittarius a

star since 2014

has finally been engulfed however

these theories are unconfirmed and

scientists admit they cannot

definitively say why the glow has

increased by

such a large amount some acknowledge

that the black hole could also

potentially be expanding

as it continues to suck mata in and

increase its mass

although black holes do not move around

the galaxy and sagittarius a star

has been anchored in the same place for

billions of years

as more and more matter folds into its

mouth the mouth would inevitably

continue to expand

currently classified as a supermassive

black hole perhaps the increased glow

indicates

that sagittarius a star is well on its

way to joining the ranks

of the categorically ultra massive

nonetheless at over 25 000 light years

away

it is safe to say that we have several

million years

before we have to be worried about our

galaxy collapsing

into the hungry mouth of sagittarius

a-star

grb-19014c

gamma-ray burst gamma ray bursts are

incredibly powerful astronomical events

that were first noted by scientists

around 46 years ago

although mysterious and not fully

understood they are fairly common and

can be observed randomly in

space almost every day the most common

cause of a gamma-ray burst

is when an enormous star exponentially

larger than our own sun

runs out of fuel the core collapses on

itself

forming a black hole which then projects

particle rays from inside the blast

through the outer remnants of the star

these initial particle rays react with

the mass around it to form hugely

powerful jets of gamma rays

which are the most highly energetic

wavelength and move at almost 100

percent the speed of visible light

these initial bursts last for only a

minute or two

followed by what scientists have termed

the afterglow

this afterglow surrounds the site of the

burst for several months

following the event and is caused by the

continued interaction of the ejected

jets with surrounding space particles

which emit light on all frequencies

across the wavelength spectrum

from radio waves to gamma rays such a

collapse of matter resulting in long

lasting jets of incredibly powerful

gamma waves

is collectively known as a gamma ray

burst phenomenon

and is widely studied in the field of

astronomy

previously because the initial bursts

are so short-lived and occur randomly in

space

research regarding this phenomenon was

limited to what astrologists could

observe

from the long-lasting afterglows which

are a representation of the burst event

at lower energies

because these events are the most

powerful explosions in the universe and

understanding is limited to conclusions

gathered from study of the phenomenon

at its least energetic form researchers

have made

numerous attempts to view and capture

the initial gamma-ray burst

not just the afterglow for analysis and

on the afternoon of january 14 2019

they had a stroke of luck nasa's fermi

gamma-ray space telescope

and neil girl's swift observatory

detected the gamma radiation from a pair

of enormous bursts

originating from the fornax

constellation and alerted the major

atmospheric gamma imaging cherenkov

observatory

which was able to automatically detect

and record the burst of a mere 50

seconds

after it began the two gamma-ray bursts

named grb-19014c

emitted the highest energy rays ever

witnessed in such an event

making the gamma rays projected from the

site of the burst the highest energy

wavelengths

ever recorded researchers are still

attempting to determine whether or not

the unusually dense environment of the

system which occurred at the nuclear

centre of several interconnected

galaxies

was what might have been conducive to

such a large burst

this documentation of a component of a

gamma-ray burst that has not been able

to be widely studied

especially when the event in question is

the largest ever recorded

will help scientists to look at gamma

ray theory from an

entirely new perspective further

analysis of the recordings of the

initial event compared

with continued study of the afterglow

will radicalize the way that scientists

study gamma-ray theory

nasa launched an atomic clock into space

atomic clocks have been hailed as the

superior method of timekeeping since the

1950s due to their incredible accuracy

even over extremely long periods of time

where pendulums and quartz crystal

clocks develop discrepancies

and can vary between devices atomic

clocks use the frequency of electrons

vibrating back and forth

when exposed to radio waves which is an

almost impossibly precise method of

measurement

and one that allows gps satellites to

pinpoint locations

with nearly complete accuracy these gps

satellites work by using an atomic clock

to measure the amount of time it takes

for a signal to travel between two

points

a necessarily precise science in space

travel where the difference of a single

second can mean either landing on mars

or ending up hundreds of thousands of

miles away

however one limitation of the atomic

clock is space

each clock paired with a gps satellite

is about the size of a refrigerator and

must remain on earth

when navigators use its measurements to

triangulate the location

of spacecraft and then communicate

instructions to the astronauts on board

it is a time-consuming process and

limits the distance of missions

as spacecraft must remain within range

of the gps satellites

and earth an on-board atomic clock would

mean that the astronauts could calculate

their own trajectory

rather than relying on communication

from earth for direction

however the current design of an atomic

clock is too bulky and will not stand

up to the changing environment of space

travel which limits the possibilities of

astronauts

exploring deep space until recently

there has been no reliable method for

keeping time while outside of earth's

gravitational pull

in june of 2019 nasa placed their newly

developed deep space atomic clock

on a spacecraft to orbit earth for a

year

the deep space atomic clock was

developed at nasa's jet propulsion

laboratory in pasadena california

and has been in experimental orbit since

june as they test its accuracy over

extended periods of time

outside of earth's controlled

environment

if the timekeeping remains unaffected by

the conditions of space

the deep space atomic clock will be the

first atomic clock with the design and

functionality

to pioneer expeditions in the cosmos

current measurements estimate that the

clock which is powered through mercury

ion technology

is 50 times more stable than current

atomic clocks on gps satellites

and will lose one second every 10

million years

if it upholds these measurements as it

orbits on the spacecraft

independent space travel could be much

closer than we think

increasing technology has allowed us to

increase our understanding of the galaxy

and has answered many questions that

were previously thought unanswerable

however the longer we observe the cosmos

around us and the further we venture

into those mysterious depths the more we

realize

how very little we truly understand and

grasp about the mechanics of space

perhaps one day we will be able to

locate alien life

or even establish colonies on other

planets but even then we may never know

exactly how many more mysteries lie

hidden within the immeasurable expanse

of the milky way

and beyond

but what do you make of these

fascinating space discoveries

be sure to let us know your thoughts in

the comment section below and help us by

growing this community

while working to solve these unexplained

mysteries thank you for watching

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