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Rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre

Baganoff, F. K. and Bautz, M. W. and Brandt, W. N. and Chartas, G. and Feigelson, E. D. and Garmire, G. P. and Maeda, Y. and Morris, M. and Ricker, G. R. and Townsley, L. K. and Walter, F. (2001) Rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre. Nature, 413 (6851). pp. 45-48. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/35092510.

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The nuclei of most galaxies are now believed to harbour supermassive black holes. The motions of stars in the central few light years of our Milky Way Galaxy indicate the presence of a dark object with a mass of about 2.6 x 10^6 solar masses. This object is spatially coincident with the compact radio source Sagittarius A^* (Sgr A^*) at the dynamical centre of the Galaxy, and the radio emission is thought to be powered by the gravitational potential energy released by matter as it accretes onto a supermassive black hole. Sgr A^* is, however, much fainter than expected at all wavelengths, especially in X-rays, which has cast some doubt on this model. The first strong evidence for X-ray emission was found only recently. Here we report the discovery of rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of Sgr A^*, which, together with the previously reported steady X-ray emission, provides compelling evidence that the emission is coming from the accretion of gas onto a supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Brandt, W. N.0000-0002-0167-2453
Feigelson, E. D.0000-0002-5077-6734
Garmire, G. P.0000-0002-7371-5416
Morris, M.0000-0002-6753-2066
Walter, F.0000-0003-4793-7880
Additional Information:© 2001 Macmillan Magazines Ltd. Received 27 April 2001; Accepted 2 August 2001. We thank M. Begelman for useful comments. This work has been supported by a grant from NASA.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:6851
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150331-083458800
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Official Citation:Rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre p45 F. K. Baganoff, M. W. Bautz, W. N. Brandt, G. Chartas, E. D. Feigelson, G. P. Garmire, Y. Maeda, M. Morris, G. R. Ricker, L. K. Townsley and F. Walter doi:10.1038/35092510
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56231
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:31 Mar 2015 16:01
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:56

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