Astronomers responsible for producing the first-ever image of a black hole in 2019 are about to make an announcement about something at the center of The Milky Way on May 12. Could it be an image of Sagittarius A* our galaxy’s supermassive black hole or the detection of an ancient cosmic string from the dawn of the Cosmos?
The first black hole to be discovered was Cygnus X-1 in 1964. It comprises a black hole and a blue supergiant star orbiting each other. The black hole is accreting from the wind of the blue supergiant, forming a hot disk around the black hole that emits powerful X-rays. The mass of the invisible companion is calculated to be 8-10 solar masses, much too large to be a neutron star.
The center of our Galaxy has been intensely studied for many years, but it still harbors surprises for scientists. A snake-like structure lurking near our galaxy’s supermassive black hole is one of the more intriguing discoveries. “Part of the thrill of science is stumbling across a mystery that is not easy to solve,” said Jun-Hui Zhao of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,. “While we don’t have the answer yet, the path to finding it is fascinating.”
“We always thought of our Galaxy as an inactive galaxy, with a not so bright center,” said Magda Guglielmo from the University of Sydney about 2019 Hubble Space Telescope data showing that a titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the SgrA*, the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way, 3.5 million years ago, shooting a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and beyond into deep space.
“Perhaps the most likely scenario for ‘life’ near a neutron star or black hole involves colonization … by robotic missions from a civilization around another nearby star,” astronomer James Cordes at Cornell University, told The Daily Galaxy. Cordes’ research focus includes neutron stars, pulsars, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. “Such a mission,” he notes, “would be very costly and might not be warranted given the power of remote sensing. However, an ancient but advanced civilization might afford such a luxury.”