NASA & # 39; s National Aeronautics and Space Administration has released a snapshot of a mysterious green object that suddenly appeared in the center of the galaxy NGC 6946 and also suddenly disappeared. According to the agency's website, the image was obtained with the help of the NuSTAR space observatory. The most important mission is to study a supernova, much more massive than our sun.
The observatory took photos of the galaxy NGC 6946 when a mysterious object fell into the frame. In the image, it looks like a green spot with an irregular shape. It is located almost in the center of the Melkweg.
This object appeared unexpectedly to astrophysicists. The observatory did not record it in the first phase of observations. Ten days later, when the second phase started, the green spot was already quite clear.
It existed for a few weeks and disappeared in an instant according to cosmic standards. Later, another device, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, helped determine that the green spot was an ultra-luminescent X-ray source, known as ULX.
By the way, this is only the fourth object that scientists have discovered. That is why he was named ULX-4. What exactly this source was is not yet clear. Visible light thereof was not detected using an X-ray source. This means that it was most likely not a supernova, as originally assumed.
Ten days is really a short period for the appearance of such a clear object, says study lead author Hannah Earnshaw of the California Institute of Technology. With NuSTAR we usually see slower changes over time. But in this case we were lucky to discover the source, change extremely fast, which is very curious.
Researchers presented different versions about the nature of the object in the Astrophysical Journal. According to one of them, the light came from a black hole that absorbed another object, such as a star. If the object is too close to the black hole, gravity can tear it to pieces and the debris goes into a narrow orbit around the black hole.
The material in the inner layer of this newly formed disc begins to move so fast that it warms up to millions of degrees and starts radiating X-rays.