Astronomers have detected the strange behavior of a distant black hole
Of course, a black hole in itself does not produce radiation that could be detected by scientists - it emits an accretion disk around it. Giant black holes usually flicker like candles, but the black hole in the center of GSN 069 behaves differently: this hole, as ESA scientists discovered in 2018, often and regularly - every nine hours - greatly increases the brightness in the x-ray range for a while.
So far, researchers have not offered a definite explanation for this phenomenon. According to one of the assumptions, the reason for the outbursts is that the energy growing in the accretion disk leads to its instability - and as a result, matter begins to fall rapidly into a black hole (and this cycle repeats). There is another assumption, according to which the reason is the interaction of the disk with some other object rotating around the hole (possibly with the remnant of the star),
In the past, scientists have already noticed black holes that dramatically increase brightness for unknown reasons. It is assumed that these cases and the case with a hole in the center of GSN 069 may have similarities. As the researchers note, the black hole in the center of GSN 069 is not as large as many other black holes in the centers of galaxies, and the brightness change every nine hours seems to be somehow related to its rotation speed; according to scientists, since larger black holes require more time to complete one revolution, a similar behavior - a regular change in brightness - could occur in their case every few weeks or months (x-ray observatories rarely observe one black hole for such a long time).
A work on a new study was published in the journal Nature ; briefly on the results reported in the material on the NASA website.