Giant magnet makes Milky Way black hole a slow eater

日期:2018-02-01 03:00:17 作者:闾裳 阅读:

THE supermassive black hole at our galaxy’s centre enjoys a slow dinner, thanks to a giant magnet. The black hole, Sagittarius A*, is clearly sucking in hot gas because doing so makes it burp out radio waves. But jets of matter streaming outwards slow down its gas consumption. “The black hole is not feeding to its full potential,” says Ralph Eatough at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany. To find out whether the jets could be the result of a magnetic field produced by charged ions swirling around in the gas, Eatough and colleagues looked at a nearby pulsar. This spinning star emits radio waves, which get rotated by the hole’s magnetic field (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature12499). The rotations suggest that, at the event horizon, the field is strong enough to produce the jets and slow the hole’s chomping. This article appeared in print under the headline “Gas magnet slows black hole meal” More on these topics: