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The Study of a Black Hole inside the Constellation of Sagittarius A* Essay

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Updated: Aug 27th, 2022

Research Interest

The Milky Way Galaxy has not been fully explored, and its vast expanses may hold incredible discoveries that could radically advance space science. The next mission is to take place in the next year and is proposed to study a black hole inside the constellation of Sagittarius A*. According to all theoretical calculations, the black hole should form the center of the entire galaxy. This supermassive black hole (SMBH) is crucial to studying the history of the Milky Way formation, which means that by researching its properties, it becomes possible to understand our origin. Due to the apparent technical difficulty and the long-range location of the object, only observational missions from Earth, backed by superpowered space telescopes, are acceptable at this time. There will not be a need to build a spacecraft for this observation.

Study Object

Studying the supermassive black hole inside the constellation of Sagittarius A* is a matter of crucial concern. As it is known, our galaxy formed because of a massive gravitational collapse (Kruijseen et al., 2019). A black hole is often a reason that such a collapse occurs. The researchers claim that supermassive black holes usually grow at the galaxies’ centers and are consonant with them (Kruijssen et al., 2019). Studying a supermassive black hole is the first step to explore the entire galaxy and its origin. As we cannot observe the circumstances that led to the formation of the Milky Way presently, it is an excellent opportunity to explore a cosmical event that can form a new galaxy.

Required Telescope and Its Spectrum

For the purposes of this observation, the usage of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is suggested because its lensing power spectrum is enough to observe the cosmic microwave background (CMB). According to recent studies, the ACT team “made the first measurement of the lensing power spectrum and was able to confirm the existence of dark energy based on only CMB observations” (Sherwin et al., 2017, p. 2). The lensing power spectrum of that telescope should serve well in exploring the supermassive black hole under discussion in case dark matter is involved.

Technology Used

This research aims to use the technology of gravitational lensing to observe the cosmic microwave background radiation of the constellation under discussion. As Issaoun et al. (2019) report, “Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) is the radio source associated with the closest known SMBH” (p. 1). Exploring Sagittarius A* and the supermassive black hole from the point of radiation can be promising and potentially lead to extraordinary discoveries.

Observation Lasting

According to initial calculations, this observation is to last for half a year. It is possible that the research might require additional time, and its duration will be extended in this case. The feeding processes of supermassive black holes are not yet studied thoroughly (Storchi-Bergmann & Schnorr-Müller, 2019). Specific circumstances might occur that cannot be predicted yet, which will cause the need for the research prolongation.

General Costs

The general costs of the planned observation cannot be calculated yet, and detailed research is required. A significant amount of data needs to be accumulated before calculating the general and exact costs of the study. The usage of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope is expected to be the highest expense. The general costs will be further calculated in the detailed research.

References

Issaoun, S., Johnson, M. D., Blackburn, L., Brinkerink, C. D., Mościbrodzka, M., Chael, A.,… & Zhao, G. Y. (2019). The size, shape, and scattering of Sagittarius A* at 86 GHz: first VLBI with ALMA. The Astrophysical Journal, 871(1), 1-17.

Kruijssen, J. D., Pfeffer, J. L., Reina-Campos, M., Crain, R. A., & Bastian, N. (2019). The formation and assembly history of the Milky Way revealed by its globular cluster population. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 486(3), 3180-3202.

Sherwin, B. D., Van Engelen, A., Sehgal, N., Madhavacheril, M., Addison, G. E., Aiola, S.,… & Wollack, E. J. (2017). Two-season Atacama Cosmology Telescope polarimeter lensing power spectrum. Physical Review D, 95(12), 1-17.

Storchi-Bergmann, T., & Schnorr-Müller, A. (2019). Observational constraints on the feeding of supermassive black holes. Nature Astronomy, 3(1), 48-61.

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