Astronomers discover light from behind a black hole for the first time

Scientists at Stanford University say that even experienced astrophysicists have made breakthrough discoveries about light and black holes that surprised them. And their work seems to prove that Einstein’s theory of gravity over a century ago was correct.

Deep in the universe, black holes continue to fascinate scientists, and their gravity is so strong that they can’t escape because they suck in material and light. Even at a distance of 800 million light-years, the orbiting telescope could see the X-ray spectral light from the front, but not from the back.

Stanford University astrophysicist Dan Wilkins and his colleagues report that they first witnessed and recorded a series of bright flares coming from the other side.

In the video, they saw a band of yellow light in the X-ray spectrum that was invisible to humans. Due to the gravity of the black hole, those X-rays bend around the black hole. The telescope caught a secondary flash emanating from behind a black hole. Einstein predicted this phenomenon in 1916 with his general theory of relativity.

“The colors of these flashes, the colors of their echoes, and the time they were delayed after the original flare, I think these are echoes coming from the gas hidden from our view behind the black hole. I told them, “he said. Wilkins, a research scientist at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University.

“Some of it shines back into the gas falling into the black hole, and this gives us a really very unique view of this material in the last moment before it is lost in the black hole. “He explained.

Two aging telescopes, the European Space Agency’s 22-year-old XMM-Newton and NASA’s 9-year-old NuSTAR, helped make this breakthrough. Wilkins belongs to the team that builds the next generation of X-ray telescope Athena.

“Understanding how galaxies were formed and what the universe we know is an important part of the puzzle,” said Dr. Wilkins.

Wilkins modestly says they were lucky. Patience also plays a role.

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Astronomers discover light from behind a black hole for the first time

Source link Astronomers discover light from behind a black hole for the first time

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