Home / Researchers From ISRO & IIT Guwahati detected polarised emissions from a black hole

Researchers From ISRO & IIT Guwahati detected polarised emissions from a black hole
The subject of scrutiny, Large Magellanic Cloud X-3 (LMC X3), is a binary star system housing a black hole and a 'normal' star significantly larger and hotter than our Sun. Positioned within a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, LMC X-3 resides approximately 200,000 light-years away from Earth.

by Pragti Sharma / 17 Nov 2023 21:51 PM IST / 0 Comment(s) / 87

In an exceptional scientific achievement, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT Guwahati), partnered with the U R Rao Satellite Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bengaluru. Their collaboration led to the groundbreaking discovery of polarized emissions from a black hole that exists beyond our Milky Way Galaxy. This monumental observation was made possible through advanced X-ray polarimetry techniques.



The subject of scrutiny, Large Magellanic Cloud X-3 (LMC X3), is a binary star system housing a black hole and a 'normal' star significantly larger and hotter than our Sun. Positioned within a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, LMC X-3 resides approximately 200,000 light-years away from Earth.



Despite decades of observation since its unearthing in 1971, comprehending the polarization traits of X-rays emitted by high-energy entities like stellar mass black holes remained a significant gap in astronomical understanding.



Professor Santabrata Das from IIT Guwahati emphasized the pivotal role of this breakthrough. "X-ray polarimetry serves as a unique beacon in identifying radiation sources near black holes. The emissions from LMC X-3, exceeding the Sun's potency by an astonishing 10,000 times, exhibit distinct polarization alterations upon interaction with the surrounding material enveloping these cosmic behemoths," elucidated Professor Das. These revelations offer profound insights into the gravitational interplay attracting matter towards black holes.



This extensive study, financially supported by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, India, has been published in the esteemed Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. Spearheaded by Professor Santabrata Das and Dr. Anuj Nandi, the collaborative research team encompasses dedicated scholars—Mr. Seshadri Majumder from IIT Guwahati and Mr. Ankur Kushwaha from URSC, Bengaluru.




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