A black hole is a region in space in which the gravity is so strong that no object, particles or even radiation can escape from it. Scientists believe that black holes form when massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle.
A team of Israeli scientists from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University said in research published on Monday that they have intercepted radio emissions from a “faraway galaxy”, which could change assumptions regarding the behaviour of black holes.
According to the scientists – physicist Assaf Horesh, Iair Arcavi of Tel-Aviv University, and NASA Swift space telescope director Brad Cenko – they observed in 2015 optical radiation from a star that was destroyed in a galaxy 700 million light years away and started searching for radio emissions that they expected to come shortly after.
After a star collapses into a black hole, it is believed that some of its material may enter the gravity well, while other particles are forced away, causing shockwaves that create radio emissions. Those emissions can be intercepted shortly after, and the Israeli scientists appeared to detect them after a four-year silence.
The discovery of radio emissions after this much time could change the way that scientists look at the behaviour of black holes and particularly how they destroy stars and consume their material.
According to Horesh, the period over which it occurs is more drawn out “and somewhat more chaotic” than scientists believed.
The scientific team will seek to expand their research to identify radio interceptions from other galaxies.