Astronomers discovered a neutrino at the South Pole that created a massive hole in the core of a nearby galaxy in our direction 700 million years ago. True, for a long time it was not unusual for such elusive particles from space to be detected on Earth at all. However, it remains a huge success to be able to understand when, where, and why a trapped neutrino was created. A large international search team led by Robert Stein of DESY in Hamburg documents such a stroke of luck Now in Nature Astronomy..
The neutrino was detected on October 1, 2019 by light sensors in the IceCube detector at the South Pole: the particle flew at high energy, and accidentally collided with an atom in the location, thus betraying itself. Nothing like this happens rarely, since its inception, the Antarctic detector has detected several hundred particles each year, not from our solar system, but from deep space. After detection, the scientists use the measurement data to determine the energy and direction of entry of the neutrinos. With much luck, you will not only be able to locate the origin in a distant galaxy from which the neutrino has flown, but also narrow the range of the celestial event that could be related to the formation of the particle.
In this case, the path points in the direction of the constellation Dolphin: the neutrino was formed about 700 million years ago in the center of a galaxy with catalog number 2MASX J20570298 + 1412165 and set off in our direction. The galaxy had caught the attention of astronomers to itself in April 2019, that is, six months before the collision of the neutrino with the Antarctic: the camera of the Transient Zwicky Facility at the Mount Palomar Observatory noticed an unusual change in brightness there, which ultimately led to an occurrence that can be traced back to the so-called Tidal disturbance event (TDE).
TDE flashes as a star approaches a supermassive black hole and tears apart: the distant Sun is initially elongated by the enormous tidal forces and its gas is partially removed. Ultimately, the substance collects into an accretion disk that rotates around the black hole and is gradually swallowed up. The rest of the star warms up and radiates distinctly on Earth.
Astronomers investigated the event in the Dolphin constellation with a complete set of instruments and detected high-energy electromagnetic radiation of various wavelengths in order to examine TDE in detail at the site. Astronomers estimate the supermassive black hole with a mass likely to be 30 million Suns, while the Transient Zwicky Facility speaks of the second-brightest of the more than 30 TDE events recorded there since 2018.
In such a turbulent environment, where other particles race with each other at great speed, neutrinos are regularly generated and sometimes ejected into space with a lot of energy, along with all kinds of normal radiation. Astrophysicists talk about an explosion in this case; Any black holes eject particles and their jets direct matter directly to Earth. In 2018, astrophysicists in IceCube first showed a neutrino for such a monster, at that time Blazar was called TXS 0506 + 056.