Saturday, April 5, 2014

New information on the arrival date of Cloud G2

This article below from IIAI (Ideas, Inventions & Innovations) discusses an upcoming press release in relation to Cloud G2, by USA's Northwestern University's Daryl Haggard, "Advances in Astrophysics," being held at 11 a.m. EDT(US) Sunday, April 6, in Gwinnett Room of the Savannah International Convention Center.

The article goes on to say that Daryl Haggard has been using two world-class observatories, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Very Large Array, to gather data on Cloud G2 and that, "Our most recent Chandra observation does not show enhanced emission in the X-rays," Haggard said. "From the X-ray perspective, the gas cloud is late to the party, but it remains to be seen whether G2 is fashionably late or a no show."

Alton Parrish from IIAI mentions that the closest approach between the black hole and gas cloud is predicted to occur any day now based upon Daryl Haggard's observations.

Something else you may not be aware of is that last year there was a newly discovered magnetic neutron star orbiting the black hole at Sagittarius A*. It does not seem to have any relation to Cloud G2 from what I have read so far such as from this article and the Nature press release talking about it specifically, last year.

"Sgr A* and the newly discovered magnetic neutron star, SGR J1745-29, which appears to be in orbit around the black hole, are dishing out lots of interesting science," Haggard said. "We've detected the brightest X-ray flare yet observed from Sgr A* and gathered data that are causing us to overhaul of our understanding of the neutron star population in the galactic center."

Feel free to read the article below, but I think I covered the important aspects above.

By Alton Parrish via IIAI, April 2014

Gas cloud's fate could reveal new information on growth of supermassive black holes

Right now a doomed gas cloud is edging ever closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. These black holes feed on gas and dust all the time, but astronomers rarely get to see mealtime in action.

A simulation of the gas cloud G2's encounter with the supermassive black hole Sgr A*. The blue lines mark the orbits of the so-called "S" stars that are in close orbits around the black hole.

Credit: Image by ESO/MPE/Marc Schartmann

Northwestern University's Daryl Haggard has been closely watching the little cloud, called G2, and the black hole, called Sgr A*, as part of a study that should eventually help solve one of the outstanding questions surrounding black holes: How exactly do they achieve such supermassive proportions?

She will discuss her latest data at a press briefing, "Advances in Astrophysics," to be held at 11 a.m. EDT Sunday, April 6, in Gwinnett Room of the Savannah International Convention Center. The briefing is part of the American Physical Society (APS) April Meeting in Savannah, Ga.

The closest approach between the black hole and gas cloud is predicted to occur any day now. Haggard has been using two world-class observatories, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Very Large Array, to gather data on this potentially spectacular encounter.

"Our most recent Chandra observation does not show enhanced emission in the X-rays," Haggard said. "From the X-ray perspective, the gas cloud is late to the party, but it remains to be seen whether G2 is fashionably late or a no show."

At the APS meeting, she also will make a presentation, "Hot News from the Milky Way's Central Black Hole," as part of the session "Hot Topics in Astrophysics" from 3:30 to 5:18 p.m. EDT Sunday, April 6, in Chatham Ballroom C of the convention center.

"This work is fascinating because it will teach us about the growth and feeding of supermassive black holes," said Haggard, a postdoctoral fellow in Northwestern's Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA). "We know they are big, and we know they are out there -- in vast numbers -- but we aren't sure in detail how they get their mass.

"Do they grow rapidly when they are young, like our kids do, or do they grow in fits and starts, whenever fuel becomes available? In watching the encounter between Sgr A* and G2 we may catch a massive black hole in the act of snatching its next meal," she said.

In her presentation, Haggard will show recent data from Chandra (X-rays) and the VLA (radio waves), including the largest flare ever seen from Sgr A*.

"Sgr A* and the newly discovered magnetic neutron star, SGR J1745-29, which appears to be in orbit around the black hole, are dishing out lots of interesting science," Haggard said. "We've detected the brightest X-ray flare yet observed from Sgr A* and gathered data that are causing us to overhaul of our understanding of the neutron star population in the galactic center."


Contacts and sources:
Megan Fellman
Northwestern University

3 comments:

Kathleen Sisco said...

May 1 2014 G2 still waiting?
The new magnetar may be just that-new! What if the bh produces magnetars? Or rather the magnetic field does.

Laron said...

Kathleen, the latest time frame for G2 is discussed in this article,
http://www.transients.info/2014/04/update-to-cloud-g2-and-its-possible.html

Paul thinks there is a window of time now before the gas cloud moves away from the galactic center, so within that window of time, a star could get pulled in. 4-5 months from April 1. (anytime within)

ruffletheteacher.com said...

Are you speaking of SGR 1806-20? See here-gcn.gsfc.nasa.gov/gcn/gcn3/16183.gcn3
This magnetar is said to be the possible cause of the Boxing Day earthquake. Also one of the largest observed pulses. Its recent flare was something I was expecting for about a week. Due to the law of cause and effect, I don't usually attempt to predict big flares. But in the days leading up to a flare (SGR 1900+14 is another one) the clouds will become waves. In the morning and evening especially, but through out the day as well. I hadn't seen cloud formations like the ones I've been observing for the last week since 2010.
Oddly, this time around, the clouds have persisted. In the past, after the flare impact, clouds usually clear out. Like, none! I am wondering what this is going to lead to.
As to the question does a SMBH create magnetars.... I am leaning towards yes. It could start the collapse of a star via gravity waves, leading to a magnetar forming. But then again, I am not an astrophysicist. I am just a musician.
Keep your head UP!!