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NICER Mission Maps 'Lightenings' new black holes

Scientists have noted the environment surrounding a black hole in a stellar mass that is 10 times larger than the mass of the Sun using NASA's Neutron Star Intelligence Composition Explorer (NICER) at the International Space Station.

NICER discovered the X-ray light from a recently discovered black hole, called MAXI J1820 + 070 (shortened J1820), because it consumed the companion star material. The X-ray waves formed "light clothing" that reflected from the swirling gas near the black holes and discovered changes in size and shape of the environment.

"NICER has allowed us to measure the light clothing closer to the black hole than ever before," said Erin Kara, astrophysicist from Maryland University, College Park, and NASA's Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. found at the 233rd American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle. "Earlier, these light bulbs from the internal disk of acreation were only seen in super-massive black holes, which are millions to billions of solar masses and are slowly changing. The star black holes like the J1820 have much lower masses and evolve much faster so we can see changes take place in human time scales. "

The work featured under Kare's headlines appeared in Nature's January 10, and is available on the Internet.

The J1820 is located at a distance of about 10,000 light years to the Lava constellation. The tracking star in the system was identified in a survey conducted by the ESA mission Gaia (European Space Agency), which allowed researchers to estimate its distance. Astronomers were not aware of the presence of the black horn until March 11, 2018, when a space recorder (MAXI) was spotted at the aerodrome. The J1820 went from a completely unknown black holes to one of the brightest sources in the X-ray sky for several days. NICER was quick to catch this dramatic transition and continues to follow a faint rep of eruptions.

"The NICER is designed to be sensitive enough to study the weak, incredibly dense objects that are called neutron stars," said Zaven Arzoumanian, a NICER science that led to Goddard and co-author of the article. "We are delighted how useful and proven in studying the black holes of radiant X-rays."

The black hole can siphon the gas from the nearby companion star to the ring of material called the acrylic disc. Gravitational and magnetic forces heat the disc in millions of degrees, making it hot enough to produce X-rays on the inner parts of the disc, near the black holes. Exposures occur when the instability on the disc causes the gas to move inward, towards the black hole, like the avalanche. Causes of disk instability are poorly understood.

Above the disc there is a crown, an area of ​​subatomic particles of about 1 billion degrees Celsius (1.8 billion degrees Celsius) that radiates more energy in the X-rays. Many origins remain on the origins and evolution of the crown. Some theories suggest that the structure may be the early form of high-speed jet particles that these systems often emit.

Astrophysicists want to better understand how the inner edge of the acrylic disk and the crown above it change in size and shape as the black hole creates the material of its star. If I can understand why and why these changes occur in black holes of mass stars over a period of weeks, scientists could see how super-massive black holes develop over millions of years and how they affect the galaxies they live in.

One of the methods used to draw these changes is called x-ray image reverberation, which uses X-ray reflection in almost the same way as a sonar uses sound waves to map a submarine terrain. Some X-ray rays travel straight to us, while others illuminate the disc and reflect on different energies and angles.

The X-ray mapping of the reversal of super-massive black holes has shown that the inner edge of the acrylic disc is very close to the event horizon, a point of no return. The crown is also compact and is closer to the black hole, not the larger part of the acrylic disc. The previous observations of the X-ray ring from the stellar black holes, however, suggested that the inner edge of the acrylic disk may be quite distant, up to a hundred times the horizons of the event. However, the star mass J1820 behaved more like her supermassive relatives.

While investigating NICER's J1820 observations, the Kara-in team saw a reduction in delay or delay between initial X-ray radiation coming directly from the crown and the signal from the disc, indicating that X-rays traveled shorter and shorter distances before they were reflected. Of the 10,000 light years away, they estimated that the crown was vertically vertical from about 100 to 10 miles – that's like looking at some sort of blueberry seed size at a distance of Pluto.

"This is the first time we've seen this kind of proof that the crown decreases during this particular phase of evolution of outbreaks," said co-author Jack Steiner, astrophysicist at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space at the Kavali Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research in Cambridge. "The crown is still quite mysterious, and we still do not understand what it is, but now we have evidence that it is a thing that develops in the structure of the crown itself."

To confirm the reduction of time delay due to the change in corona and not the disc, the researchers used a signal called iron line K when the X-rays from the corona collided with the iron atoms in the disk, causing them to fluoresce. Time runs slower in stronger gravity fields and at higher speeds, as stated in Einstein's relativity theory. When the iron atoms closest to the black hole are bombarded by corona corrosion, the wavelength of the X-rays they emit are stretched because their time slows slower than for the observer (in this case NICER).

His team discovered that the extended K-line J1820 remained constant, meaning that the inner edge of the disc stayed close to the black holes – similar to the super-massive black hole. If the delay time is reduced due to the inner edge of the disc that moves even more inward, the iron K line becomes even more shaky.

These observations give scientists new insight into how the material opens in the black hole and how energy is released in the process.

"The NICER Observations J1820 have taught us something new about star mass black holes and how we can use them as analogues to study the super-massive black holes and their effects on the formation of the galaxy," said co-author Philip Uttley, astrophysicist in Amsterdam. "We've seen four similar events in the first year of NICER, and that's remarkable. We feel like we're on the edge of the huge progress in X-ray astronomy."

NICER is an Astrophysic mission opportunity within NASA's Explorer program, which provides frequent flying opportunities for world-wide scientific exploration of the universe, using innovative, rational, and effective approaches to managing within the heliophysics and astrophysics. NASA's Mission Space Mission Department supports the SEXTANT mission component, demonstrating the navigation of a pulsar-based aircraft.

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