This Black Hole May Hold Clues About The Universe's Origin

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

One pervading theory about the origin of the universe is the role of black holes in the formation of galaxies. It is believed that black holes swallowed the reservoir of gas that surrounded them and emitted tremendous amounts of outflows into their host galaxy. These outflows had an effect how the galaxies were formed and grew. The problem, however, is it is difficult to measure the outflows because they are impenetrable but that could all change with the discovery of a new black hole.

Michael Parker, a theoretical physicist from Cambridge University, was studying black holes when he discovered the AGN IRAS 13224−3809 found at the center of a galaxy.

What makes the IRAS 13224−3809 unique is that it is the most X-ray variable AGN because its brightness changes by a factor of 50 plus in just a matter of hours.Normally, black holes have very strong gravity that even light cannot get out of them. It also emits wide streams of gasses which scientists call as outflows. However, these outflows are difficult to measure because of the warm clouds of gasses that surround them.

This is not the case for IRAS 13224-3809 because of its rapid changes in brightness, they can use it to check how each change affects the outflows. One of the discoveries the researchers made was that when the black hole was in its brightest, the absorption lines disappear.

Parker explained that the disappearance is caused by the ionizing effect of the X-ray in the wind which removes the electrons from the atoms. The relationship between these two has been a theory until the discovery of this new black hole. Because of this, scientists has a better understanding about the winds that surround black holes.

This also leads to a better and clearer understanding how the universe was formed. And as the study about the IRAS 13224-3809 continues, we will soon have more information about this.

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