(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology first recorded the disappearance of a bright X-ray corona from high-energy particles around a black hole 100 million light-years distant from Earth. The cause of the phenomenon could be a large-scale catastrophe that destroyed an entire star. This was reported in a press release published on Phys.org.
Scientists searched for bright space flares using the ASSASN automatic tool designed to detect supernovae. They discovered an outburst of unknown nature in the active galactic core 1ES 1927 + 654, consisting of a supermassive black hole. The brightness of the object turned out to be 40 times higher than usual.
Experts believe that a strange phenomenon occurred due to a star that fell into the field of attraction of a black hole. The luminary could get into the accretion disk and be torn to pieces, due to which all the disk material, including high-energy particles, collapsed onto the event horizon and disappeared from the visible Universe. As a result, in just one year, the black hole became ten thousand times fainter. Typically, such changes in brightness take from thousands to millions of years, scientists say. In this case, a noticeable drop in brightness took at least ten hours.
After the disappearance of the corona, the black hole began to accumulate material again from the outer edges of the disk, generating new high-energy X-rays that are emitted near the event horizon. Thus, in just a few months, the crown recovered again, returning to its original brightness.
While scientists do not know exactly the mechanism of the appearance of the corona, however, they believe that this is somehow connected with the configuration of the lines of the magnetic field passing through the accretion disk. Near the event horizon, the magnetic field lines can be twisted and torn, which contributes to their reconnection. This, in turn, unwinds the particles near the black hole, causing them to emit x-rays that form the corona.
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