The existence of the structures was assumed for decades.
Astronomers first managed to obtain the quality the gas-dust structure surrounding the active supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.
It is known that supermassive black holes located at the centers of galaxies, “absorb” everything that approaches him close enough, however, the possibility to observe such phenomena in the milky Way is quite rare. Now, however, with the help of the ALMA radio telescope, astronomers were able to capture a very active black hole at the center of spiral galaxy M77, located 47 million light-years from Earth.
In the centre M77 is an active galactic nucleus; this means that gas and matter is constantly absorbed by the Central black hole and radiates intense light. Such active region of the Universe could help scientists understand how galaxies and supermassive black holes located at their center.
A new discovery was made by a scientific team from Japan; researchers using the ALMA telescope was able to capture the active nucleus M77. Briefly about the study reports portal New Atlas.
Experts have discovered a small gas-dust structure surrounding the black hole; the radius of this cloud, rotating around the black hole, was 20 light years. The existence of these structures was assumed for decades, however, as the researchers note, for the first time the quality of this structure managed to get only now.
The ALMA radio telescope allows you to take pictures in very high resolution; however, as emphasized by the researchers, it was important to record the microwave radiation from molecules of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and formyl ion (HCO+). It is noted that these molecules “glow” in the microwave range only when a sufficient density and, thus, allow us to say about the density of the dust cloud.
In addition, the researchers found that the discovered structure is rotated a bit messy and the gas flow is not always governed by the gravity of a black hole. According to the researchers, this may be due to the fact that in the past M77 collided with another object, possibly with a small galaxy.