On August 30, 1995, 10 billion-year-old light from the early universe finally hit the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory orbiting the Earth. A research team in Australia now reports that the gamma-ray burst contains evidence of a very rare intermediate-mass black hole that will help fill a hole in our understanding of these cosmic mysteries.
Black holes are usually divided into three sizes.The smallest is Star-sized black holeAs the name suggests, it is about the mass of some stars, and can be several to one hundred times the mass of the sun.Then it is little known, only a preliminary description Medium-mass black hole, Ranging from 100 solar masses to 100,000 solar masses. At the very end of the balance is a supermassive black hole with a mass of 100,000 solar masses or more.Some are billions of times the size of our sun, such as black holes Famous images in 2019.
There are intermediate-mass black holes, but unlike their siblings, they are of little help to telescopes trying to find them. Although astrophysicists have some ideas about the location to look for, and even appointed some candidates in recent years, few possible medium-sized black holes have been discovered. Only a few observed objects are suspected to be medium-mass black holes.
The latest analysis of the 26-year-old data by the team is Published Published this week in “Natural Astronomy” magazine. It is not the first reported candidate for a medium-mass black hole, but the first candidate to be detected using gamma rays.
When a candidate for a medium-mass black hole is proposed, it is usually through evidence to suggest its gravity and a large number of objects described. Supermassive black holes attract many bright objects to their vicinity so that they are easy to find, and stellar black holes are often orbited by stars. The black holes in the middle still exist, but if studied further, they can help explain how much larger black holes have become so large and how many black holes there may be.
“Anyone in our galaxy, no matter where they are, is not allowed to absorb gas, so they either float freely in space without anything falling in and make it glow, or they are located in the center of a globular cluster and they are Australian James Paynter, an astrophysicist at the University of Melbourne, said in a video call: “Being obscured by all the stars. “No matter what these intermediate-mass black holes are, they have not done anything to betray the fact that they are there. “
Paynter’s team looked at the Compton dataset of thousands of observed gamma-ray bursts and used an automated script to traverse each pulse, looking for fast, nearly identical consecutive pulses. This feature indicates that an explosion has occurred, but it travels around a huge object in the universe along two paths. (Imagine two streams of water rushing downstream around a large rock.) This will result in two recorded gamma-ray bursts, but the data looks very similar. This would be an example of a “gravitational lens” in which the extreme gravity of an object in the universe bends the light around itself.
The research team found that there was only one burst that met the requirements, and there were only one or two gamma radiations one millisecond apart. The characteristics of the lens event allowed the team to approximate the mass of the object that caused it. They said it could be just a few things: globular clusters (tightly wound stellar knots), dark matter halos (basically invisible), and the gravitational halo exceeded Huge objects) or black holes. They eliminated the first two possibilities, leaving a medium-mass black hole as the main suspect of the lens.
Tod Strohmayer, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who has nothing to do with the new paper, said that gamma-ray bursts “have two flavors.” Some are relatively long, ranging from tens of seconds to hundreds of seconds, while others are very short, only a few milliseconds.This exploding fact He said that he belonged to the latter group, but it happened twice, indicating that a lens event had occurred.
Strohmayer said on the phone: “This is an interesting discovery, because it does comply with universal gravitation, but it seems to meet your expectations.” “This is consistent with this interpretation, but at present, there is a sign that this may be… If you want to see more gamma-ray bursts, you have to observe a lot.”
The black hole in the middle is important, because we don’t know that a supermassive black hole will become so big. They may be supermassives produced at the beginning, derived from the primitive universe, or black holes in the middle, which accumulate matter and expand in size. When the intermediate black holes from the primitive universe merge with each other and merge into the behemoth we are familiar with today, they may also form. This article does not solve this mystery, but it proposes an interesting new method to increase our sample of medium-sized black holes. Astrophysicists have new candidates for medium-mass black holes and have new opportunities to explore what led to the birth of the largest object in the universe. The largest object in the universe has already formed, and its mass is confusing.
Stromeier said that a useful development is if there is a medium-mass black hole with orbiting companion stars. This will help prove that the state of any of these candidates is true. Fortunately, the Compton Observatory received the echo, but unfortunately this is a thousand-year-old technology. At the resolution of its operation, the observatory cannot detect where the explosion came from in the universe-it’s just that it arrived.
Therefore, the signal received in 1995 is fascinating. Somewhere there, there is a large light surrounding it forcing it to emit light, showing us another black hole lurking in the middle of them. Paynter’s team only processed about a quarter of the observatory’s data, so it is possible that more events will be picked.