Massive black hole might have spontaneously ‘flipped’ its magnetic field
Magnetic reversals are likely to be common events in the cosmos, with geological records showing the Earth's field unpredictably reversing a few times every million years.
According to a study by an international research team
a remarkable outburst from a galaxy over 236 million light-years away could have been generated by a spontaneous flip of the magnetic field encircling its central black hole
UV and X-ray readings from NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton satellite
as well as visible light and radio observations from additional sources, were utilised by the researchers
The Astrophysical Journal has approved a research article describing the findings for publication.
Astronomers were notified in March 2018 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae that a galaxy known as 1ES 1927+654
It had brightened by approximately 100 times in visible light
A subsequent investigation revealed that the eruption had started months earlier, towards the end of 2017.
The galaxy's UV emissions were boosted 12 times when NASA's Swift space observatory, which monitors gamma-ray bursts, X-ray, UV, and visible light, initially investigated it in May 2018
but they steadily declined, indicating that there was an earlier undiscovered peak. The galaxy's higher-energy X-ray radiation vanished in June.
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