Periodic gamma-ray bursts could be a new link in black hole research Gamma rays regularly observed from around Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, are of interest to astrophysicists. The work of Gustavo Magallanes-Guion and Sergio Mendoza confirmed the existence of periodic pulses of this radiation.
Previous studies have shown the existence of a relatively stable supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A, at the center of our galaxy. Unlike many supermassive black holes at the centers of other galaxies, Sagittarius A does not attract large amounts of material or form jets of plasma.
In a new study, scientists discovered a ring-shaped cloud of gas orbiting Sagittarius A* at a distance roughly comparable to the distance from the Sun to Mercury. An important discovery was made in 2021, allowing scientists to identify gamma rays emanating from the region around Sagittarius A. Black holes do not emit radiation, so scientists already knew that black holes themselves were not the source of this radiation. However, the purpose of this study was to identify the source of this gamma ray. Scientists analyzed publicly available data obtained by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope between June and December 2022. Their analysis involved processing and searching for patterns. Researchers found that gamma-ray pulses from objects near Sagittarius A reach Earth every 76.32 minutes. These pulses have a periodicity corresponding to about half of the recorded X-ray flashes, and also originate from the region around Sagittarius A. This indicates the connection between these processes. Scientists believe that both gamma-ray and X-ray flare events are likely related to gas clouds orbiting Sagittarius A at nearly 30% the speed of light. They also suggest that this cloud may emit light at different wavelengths and flare periodically as it moves.