Scientists conducted the detailed observation of matter near a black hole

Clumps of gas swirling around at about 30% of the speed of light on a circular orbit just outside a four million solar mass black hole More

Clumps of gas swirling around at about 30% of the speed of light on a circular orbit just outside a four million solar mass black hole More

This was the most detailed observation of matter, revolving so close to the black hole. There, the observed gas compression seals, such as the European southern Observatory (ESO) on Wednesday.

In July, ESO scientists used GRAVITY and the Very Large Telescope to capture an image of the S2 orbiting Sagittarius A*, both of which have never come closer to each other than the Sun to Neptune. According Oxford University's Josephine Peters, these recent observations are a breakthrough in the ongoing study of black holes: "Astronomers have observed material as close as you can get to a black hole without being consumed by it", Peters told Business Insider. As the gas blobs move toward the black hole, they cause powerful bursts of radiation, which researchers detected using the GRAVITY, a device implemented on the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Those flares, the researchers reveal today, are the signs of superheated gas racing nearly as close to the black hole as possible without getting sucked in-at 30% the speed of light. They found their mark in a small star called S2, whose orbit takes it deep within Sagittarius A*'s gravity well every 16 years.

"It's overwhelming to actually be a witness as Material to a supermassive black hole runs with 30 percent of the speed of light around", said scientists Oliver Pfuhl, Max-Planck-Institute for extraterrestrial physics (MPE) in Garching near Munich.

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By the receiver astronomers watched not only in real time, but in unprecedented detail. "During our observations, we were lucky enough to notice three bright flares from around the black hole - it was a lucky coincidence!" For the first Time demonstrated the impact that Albert Einstein with his General theory of relativity in such an extreme environment had predicted.

This analysis adds further evidence to the long-standing assumption that the black hole residing in the centre of the Milky Way is supermassive.

"This always was one of our dream projects but we did not dare to hope that it would become possible so soon ... the result is a resounding confirmation of the massive black hole paradigm", Reinhard Genzel, of the MPE, who led the study, said in the statement.

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