NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory is tracking a black hole’s magnetic reversal in a galaxy located approximately 236 million light-years away. It was first observed in May 2018 when its UV emission was elevated by 12 times but steadily declining, but by June, the galaxy’s higher-energy X-ray emission vanished, leading astronomers to believe that a magnetic flip happened.
As the flip continues, the black hole’s field becomes so weak that it can no longer support the corona, leading to the X-ray emission vanishing. Its magnetic field then gradually strengthens in its new orientation, which was evident in October 2018, around 4 months after they disappeared. The X-rays came back, thus indicating that the corona had been fully restored. Fast forward to summer 2021 and the galaxy had fully returned to its pre-eruption state. In related news, Stephen Hawking’s black hole theorem was observed by MIT physicists.
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A magnetic reversal, where the north pole becomes south and vice versa, seems to best fit the observations. The field initially weakens at the outskirts of the accretion disk, leading to greater heating and brightening in visible and UV light,” he explained,” said co-author Mitchell Begelman, a professor in the department of astrophysical and planetary sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder.