Physicists used data from the International Space Station (ISS) to investigate an explosion of X-rays from a black hole in an outbreak phase. The data suggest that black holes during an outbreak consume huge amounts of star material and shrink by a factor of ten.
The data was collected from a black hole called the MAXI J1820 + 070, which was discovered on March 11, 2018. Using the MAXI (Monitor of All-Sky X-ray) instrument aboard the ISS. The MAXI is an X-ray detection system that monitors X-ray bursts emitted by black holes in their outbreak phase. "This booming, bright hole was created and was almost completely unobstructed, so we got a very accurate view of what was happening," said Jack Steiner, researcher at the Kavli of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research said in one Opinion:
An eruption is a phase in the development of a black hole that emits extremely high-energy X-rays, absorbing huge amounts of gas and dust from a nearby star. While the black hole consumes matter, its corona ̵
After observing the outbreak, scientists turned to NASA's Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) neutron star, ISS, to learn more about the amount and timing of incoming X-ray photons. When a black hole consumes large amounts of material, this material settles in the accretion disk and generates heat as it rotates closer to the black hole. When the material reaches temperatures of millions of degrees, the energy shines as X-rays.
"This is the first time we have seen this kind of evidence that the corona is decreasing in this particular phase of eruption development," Steiner said. "The Corona is still pretty mysterious and we still have a loose understanding of what it is. But we now have evidence that what develops in the system is the structure of the corona itself. "