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The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy suddenly lit up brighter than scientists had ever seen, and nobody knows why

The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy suddenly lit up brighter than scientists had ever seen, and nobody knows why
NASA



The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy suddenly flashed twice as brightly as scientists had ever seen in 20 years of observation.




Nobody knows what caused the flash, but two objects that passed near the black hole in 2014 and 2018 could be the culprits.




The flash was so bright that researchers want to update models of how the black hole fluctuates over time.




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The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way is normally quiet, but in May it surprised astronomers with an unprecedented explosion of infrared light.
The closest supermassive black hole to Earth, called Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*, suddenly got 75 times brighter than normal along the near-infrared region of the light spectrum for two hours on May 13, a team of scientists as found.
According to a new paper they published on August 5 in arXiv, a Cornell University repository for scientific papers that are not yet peer-reviewed, this was the brightest flash scientists had seen in 20 years of observing the black hole — and twice as bright as any previously recorded.
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