Is it actually connected to a black hole?
Astronomers have recently produced a very clear snapshot of a 2.3 light-year long ‘thread’ that is circulating around a supermassive black hole, around the centre of the Milky Way.
For the first time, this was discovered in 2012, but now there is a new image that indicates how this structure seems to be connected to a black hole. A closer look of this image sure helped narrowing down some of the possibilities, but there is still a lot of research that should be done in order to come to a solid answer.
Small crew of scientists has produced this image by using the data from the NRAO – the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
You can see for yourself:
Even if for the most of us this image means nothing, astronomers really have the urge to find some more answers.
Jun-Hui Zhao, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics explained: “Part of the thrill of science is stumbling across a mystery that is not easy to solve. While we don’t have the answer yet, the path to finding it is fascinating. This result is motivating astronomers to build next generation radio telescopes with cutting edge technology.”
At first, scientists suspected that this has something to do with the Milky Way’s magnetic fields, but very soon they realized something else is happening here.
That’s why astronomers still have to gather much more evidence so they can research all the possibilities. Whatever this is, it created huge discussion between the scientists.
“We will keep hunting until we have a solid explanation for this object,” said Miller from National Radio Astronomy Observatory. “And we are aiming to next produce even better, more revealing images.”
We are still expecting a solid answer to these questions soon.