Mexican scientists have uncovered unusual activity near the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, which is typically considered a tranquil object. Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, is known for its relative calm, without voraciously consuming nearby matter or emitting significant outbursts.
However, astrophysicists Gustavo Magallanes-Guijón and Sergio Mendoza from the National Autonomous University of Mexico have observed a distinct pattern: every 76.32 minutes, gamma-ray signals emanate from the vicinity of Sagittarius A*.
The researchers propose that a clump of gas, located at a distance roughly equivalent to that between Mercury and the Sun and orbiting at approximately 30% of the speed of light, is likely circling the black hole. While the black hole itself does not emit detectable radiation, the surrounding region experiences fluctuations in emissions across various wavelengths. The periodicity in radio, X-ray, and now gamma-ray signals suggests a common underlying cause—something in orbit around the black hole.
This discovery supports the hypothesis that a magnetic field-bound blob of hot gas undergoes synchrotron acceleration, emitting radiation as it spirals around Sagittarius A*. This mysterious object may offer insights into the behavior of black holes and their impact on galaxy formation.