NASA discovered rings around a black hole
Scientists have combined data from observations of two NASA space telescopes and partners: Chandra and Swift.
Photos of Saturn with its system of rings will surprise no one. But few people know that other giant planets also have rings: Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. In particular, this moment is even shown in the film Ad Astra, in which the hero of Brad Pitt heroically & # 171; breaks through & # 187; through the rings of Neptune. But recently, NASA said it had discovered rings around a black hole. Do they look like planetary rings? Chronicle.info reports with reference to Channel 24.
V404 Cygni is a binary system consisting of a black hole and a companion star that is losing its mass. The distance to the system is about 7,800 light years. To reveal the system of rings around the black hole, scientists combined data from observations of two NASA space telescopes and partners: Chandra and Swift.
How the rings were formed in the V404 Cygni system
The black hole is very close to companion star. Because of this, the star loses mass, which is absorbed by the black hole.
And this substance is & # 171; eaten & # 187; not immediately, but gradually. At first, it twists and forms the so-called accretion disk. The matter in this disk revolves around the black hole, heating up and emitting in different wavelengths. Over time, the material of the accretion disk will be absorbed by the black hole.
The disk is composed of gas, dust and other elements. For example, the so-called pair plasma, consisting of electrons and analogous particles of antimatter – positrons.
In 2015, telescopes recorded powerful flares in the V404 Cygni system. They made the system a bright X-ray object throughout the entire celestial sphere.
The reason for the outbursts, according to scientists, was the critical accumulation of material in the accretion disk. Such events occur with an approximate frequency of 20-30 years.
A flash of 2015 generated a light echo. This is a phenomenon where light is reflected from other objects. In our case, the light reflected from the accretion disk, which actually became the cause of its formation during the flare.
Moreover, the light was reflected from the gas-dust disk several times, resulting in the formation of concentric rings. In total, scientists have recorded 8 such & # 171; hoops & # 187; around the black hole.
Do V404 Cygni's rings have anything in common with Saturn's rings
There are several disagreements that prevent the two ring systems from being compared:
- < li> The system of rings of Saturn consists of large blocks of ice and stones. The rings of a black hole are composed of gas, dust and plasma.
- The principle of ring formation is radically different.
- Moreover, the rings of Saturn (or another giant planet in the solar system) are a long-term stable formation … Most likely, the concentric rings of V404 Cygni will merge again into one accretion disk that will feed the companion star.
- Saturn's ring system is much more complex. For example, it is constantly subject to & # 171; update & # 187; as a result of crushing large debris and ejection of various elements by satellites. Various rings of the gas giant seem to control its numerous satellites. Some of them are called the shepherd companions.