A map created in 2021 revealed the extremely violent center of our Milky Way Galaxy. New research and images by University of Massachusetts Amherst astronomer Daniel Wang reveals, with unprecedented clarity, an X-ray thread, G0.17-0.41, which hints at a previously unknown interstellar mechanism that may govern the energy flow and potentially the evolution of the Milky Way.
The story: In April of 2019, Space Telescope Science Institute astronomer Marc Postman said that when he first first saw the Hubble image of the monster elliptical galaxy galaxy in the Abell 2261 galaxy cluster with a core bigger and brighter than any seen before, he knew immediately that something was odd, that its central core embraced a mystery never before seen. Spanning a little over one million light-years, the galaxy is about ten times the diameter of our own Milky Way galaxy.
Albert Einstein described black holes as strange objects “where God divided by zero.” An international team of astrophysicists has now confirmed that black holes are a distinct “species” from neutron stars, which are comparable to black holes in mass and size but confined within a hard surface. A black hole is an exotic cosmic object without a hard surface predicted by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and is confined within an invisible boundary, called an event horizon, from within which nothing, not even light, can escape.
“The fate of black holes in a quantum theory of gravity is, in my view, the most important problem in theoretical physics,” said Jorge Pullin, the Horace Hearne professor of theoretical physics at LSU.
Astronomers may soon have the answer to what is perhaps the greatest mystery of modern science –is dark energy a uniform force across space and time, or has its strength evolved over eons?