A black hole located about 8,000 light years away from our planet was recently the target of a study by a team of scientists from the University of Florida. For the first time in history, researchers were able to measure the level of magnetism emitted by such a structure. What they found was quite surprising, according to reports – it wasn’t nearly as high as researchers had predicted.
How Did the Scientists Calculate the Magnetic Field?
The particular black hole studied by the team hails from the binary system V404 Cygni. Weighing roughly as much as ten Suns and approximately forty miles in width, it is currently theorized to be devouring a nearby sun.
As black holes pull in matter, they eject beams of charged particles outwards from their center. These rays can be detected by various machines on Earth, allowing us to monitor their status. They also help pinpoint the location of black holes around the universe. Though the exact science behind why this happens is not known, many theorize it has to do with the magnetic field that naturally surrounds black holes.
After detecting one such burst back in 2015 by using the 34-foot Gran Telescopio Canarias (the world’s largest telescope), the team began researching it for the two weeks the beam lasted. Through their observations, they were able to determine that the magnetic field around the black hole that emitted it was close to 400 times lower than predicted.
This is an important discovery for science. The results of this research could help tell us more about how black holes – and, indeed, the universe at large – operate. Due to the chronic overestimation of magnetic power, many theoretical models are already being reexamined. A closer look at the magnetic field of a space body could also be useful in future studies. In ones that, for example, involved how matter reacts to black holes, particularly in relation to GPS technology and nuclear fusion.
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