“This is a really exciting result,” says Adern Cackett, an astronomer at Wayne State University who was not involved in the study. “Although we have seen the signature of X-ray echoes before, it is not yet possible to distinguish the echoes coming from behind the black hole and bent in our line of sight. This will allow for better mapping. How things fall into black holes and black holes. How to turn around. “

The release of energy rays through black holes, sometimes in the form of X-rays, is an absurdly heavy process. And because supermassive black holes release so much energy, they are essential powerhouses that give rise to galaxies around it. Says Dan Wilkins, “If you want to understand how a galaxy is formed, you need to understand the processes outside of a black hole that can release this enormous amount of energy and power, the amazing bright light source that we are studying. Looking, ”says Dan Wilkins, an astrophysicist at Stanford University and lead author of the study.

The study focuses on a supermassive black hole at the center of a super zombie 1 (ZW1 for short) in the center of a galaxy about 100 million light-years from Earth. In supermassive black holes, such as the IZW1, large amounts of gas fall toward the center (event horizon, which is basically no return issue) and flatten into the disk. Above the black hole, the confluence of supercharged particles and magnetic field activity produces high-energy X-rays.

Some of these X-rays shine directly on us, and we can observe them normally using telescopes. But some of it also shines down towards the flat disc of the gas and it will affect it. The rotation of the IZW1 black hole is slowing at a faster rate than that observed in most supermassive black holes, allowing the surrounding gas and dust to come in more easily and feed the black hole from multiple directions. This, in turn, leads to larger X-ray emissions, which is why Wilkins and his team were particularly interested.

While Wilkins and his team were inspecting the black hole, they noticed that Corona was “shining.” The flashes were coming from behind the shadow of a black hole due to X-ray pulses reflecting a huge disk of gas – this is the space that is usually hidden from view. But because the black hole rotates the space around it, the X-ray reflection also revolves around it, which means we can detect it.

The signals were met using two different space-based telescopes optimized for X-ray detection in space: Nustar, operated by NASA, and XMM-Newton, operated by the European Space Agency.

The biggest influence of the new findings is that they confirm what Albert Einstein predicted in 1963 as part of his theory of general relativity – the way light should be rotated around massive objects such as supermassive black holes.

“We’ve really seen the direct signature of the light curve coming all the way behind the black hole in our line of sight, because Wilkins says black holes surround the space around them.

“While this observation does not change our general picture of black hole aggression, it is a good confirmation that normal relativity runs in these systems,” says MIT’s astrophysicist, who was not involved in the study.

Despite the name, supermassive black holes are so far away that they look just like the only light, even with really sophisticated devices. The shadow of a supermassive black hole in the Galaxy M87 will not be able to capture images of all of them the way scientists used the Event Horizon Telescope.

Even so, despite the beginnings, Wilkins and his team hope that finding and studying more such X-ray echoes from behind the band can help us create partial or even complete images of distant supermassive black holes. In turn, it can help them unlock some of the big secrets of how supermassive black holes grow, sustain entire galaxies, and create an environment in which the laws of physics are pushed to the limit.