Rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre

F. K. Baganoff, M. W. Bautz, William Nielsen Brandt, G. Chartas, Eric Feigelson, G. P. Garmire, Y. Maeda, M. Morris, G. R. Ricker, Leisa K. Townsley, F. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The nuclei of most galaxies are now believed to harbour supermassive black holes. The motions of stars in the central few light years of our Milky Way Galaxy indicate the presence of a dark object with a mass of about 2.6 × 106 solar masses (refs 2, 3). This object is spatially coincident with the compact radio source Sagittarius A* (SgrA*) at the dynamical centre of the Galaxy, and the radio emission is thought to be powered by the gravitational potential energy released by matter as it accretes onto a supermassive black hole. Sgr A* is, however, much fainter than expected at all wavelengths, especially in X-rays, which has cast some doubt on this model. The first strong evidence for X-ray emission was found only recently. Here we report the discovery of rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of Sgr A*, which, together with the previously reported steady X-ray emission, provides compelling evidence that the emission is coming from the accretion of gas onto a supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume413
Issue number6851
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 6 2001

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Galaxies
X-Rays
Radio
Gases
Direction compound

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Baganoff, F. K. ; Bautz, M. W. ; Brandt, William Nielsen ; Chartas, G. ; Feigelson, Eric ; Garmire, G. P. ; Maeda, Y. ; Morris, M. ; Ricker, G. R. ; Townsley, Leisa K. ; Walter, F. / Rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre. In: Nature. 2001 ; Vol. 413, No. 6851. pp. 45-48.
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Baganoff, FK, Bautz, MW, Brandt, WN, Chartas, G, Feigelson, E, Garmire, GP, Maeda, Y, Morris, M, Ricker, GR, Townsley, LK & Walter, F 2001, 'Rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre', Nature, vol. 413, no. 6851, pp. 45-48. https://doi.org/10.1038/35092510

Rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre. / Baganoff, F. K.; Bautz, M. W.; Brandt, William Nielsen; Chartas, G.; Feigelson, Eric; Garmire, G. P.; Maeda, Y.; Morris, M.; Ricker, G. R.; Townsley, Leisa K.; Walter, F.

In: Nature, Vol. 413, No. 6851, 06.09.2001, p. 45-48.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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