In a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday, scientists describe in detail the detection of a subatomic particle - known as a neutrino - by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica. Using data from the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in California, researchers were able to trace the origin of the subatomic sphere to an event that occurred about 700 million years ago: the destruction of a star as it was "sliced" by a black hole.
This is the first time such an event has been linked to neutrino detection.
Neutrinos are often described as "ghost" particles because they have no electric charge and consist of small masses that disappear. Like light, they travel virtually in a straight line from their destination. Other charged particles are at the mercy of magnetic fields, but neutrinos flow through the universe without hindrance. We know they throw from the core of the sun to huge quantities, and on Earth we can create them in nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.
In April 2019, the Zwicky Transient Facility spotted a bright glow around a black hole 700 million light-years away. The flash of light was created when a star traveled very close to the black hole, which is about 30 million times more massive than helium. The enormous gravity of the black hole stretched the star and eventually dissolved it from the extreme forces. This is known as a "tide break event" or TDE.
The end of the star is a brilliant beginning for astronomers. They were able to link TDE to neutrino detection from the IceCube Observatory. Researchers estimate that TDE dropped about half of the broken star in space, While the remainder installed around the black hole in a giant "disk" with hot, bright dust, gas and debris. The savage energies around the black hole in the disk lead to the ejection of huge jets of matter from the system.
Astrophysicists believe that this indicates the existence of a "central engine" that acts as an accelerator of natural particles that can create high-energy neutrinos, some of which may collide with Earth.
The ultra-high-energy neutrino, detected by the IceCube, "struck the Antarctic ice sheet with remarkable energy over 100 teVe," said Anna Franckowiak, a professor at the University of Bochum in Germany.
The discovery of a neutrino derived from a TDE is an important discovery for them astronomers - is only the second time that is discovered the source of such a neutrino - hoping to understand the universe in new ways.
Source of information: cnet.com