You do not need to be a science geek to know that a black hole is supposed to draw in everything around it and suck it into the center. Black holes are interesting, regardless of your interest in the science behind them. They have been featured in science fiction novels and Hollywood movies. However, the way we think about black holes is about to change, as NASA recently observed a supermassive black hole spew something out.
The event was captured through two different space telescopes, including the NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) telescope in Pasadena, Calif. at the California Institute of Technology. The Markarian 335 black hole, a black hole that is 324 million light years away from earth, recently ejected its corona and launched it away, followed by a large pulse of x-ray energy. So what exactly does this mean? Scientists are not entirely sure and are continuing to study the event.
What scientists do know is black holes are black due to the gravitational pull they emit. If something gets close enough to the gravitational pull, nothing can escape from the black hole—not even light. Supermassive black holes, like the Markarian 335, have the strongest gravitational pulls, so it is extremely rare for them to spew objects out.
In addition, scientists know that black holes themselves do not emit any light, yet are surrounded by incandescent disks of glowing light materials. As the disks are pulled on by the gravitational force of the black hole, they emit different kinds of light. Further, scientists know black holes have a corona. The corona is another form of energy, one which gives off radiation and is capable of generating x-rays.
Some scientists say the recently ejected material helps support what they call the lamppost hypothesis model. This model theorizes there are small sources of light, much like lightbulbs in a lamp, which are located above and below the rotation axis of the black hole. As the light materials change from influences on them by the gravitational forces of the black hole, it affects the brightness levels and stability. For instance, in 2007, scientists observed Markarian 335’s brightness level had been reduced by a factor of 30, and it has yet to return to its prior brightness level.
Also interesting is that Markarian 335 has ejected flares in the past. The last one was in 2014. What makes this current ejection even more exciting is that scientists now know what the flares are, from being able to observe the black hole’s corona being ejected. Their next step is to try to determine why it is happening. In addition, with the new data, scientists will be able to conduct further research into Markarian 335’s size, structure, and how black holes function, as well as how they help power some of the brighter objects in our universe.
You can rest assured, scientists will be recording their findings in scientific and research notebooks to have written documentation of their findings. If you require notebooks for science, engineering, laboratory projects, or research projects, feel free to contact Scientific Notebook Company today at 800-537-3028.