Astronomer throws light on the mystery of black holes

Manasi Saraf Joshi 
Thursday, 21 December 2017

Pune: For past 50 years, researchers are trying to understand black holes which are present in our galaxy in huge numbers. "These black holes are huge masses which are condensed to a point and whatever it attracts never comes out. What happens to the material that goes into it is still a mystery and the astronomers are trying to understand it. Many times we can see a number of stars rotating around a black patch. This black patch is a black hole and we do not know how big it is.

Pune: For past 50 years, researchers are trying to understand black holes which are present in our galaxy in huge numbers. "These black holes are huge masses which are condensed to a point and whatever it attracts never comes out. What happens to the material that goes into it is still a mystery and the astronomers are trying to understand it. Many times we can see a number of stars rotating around a black patch. This black patch is a black hole and we do not know how big it is. We assume that it is few million times bigger than our Sun," said astronomer Poshak Gandhi who works as an Associate Professor at School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, United Kingdoms. 

Gandhi, who was in the city for a short span of time, met exclusively with Sakal Times and said, “The gravity of the black holes is so strong that whenever material goes into it, it does not come out or even emit light as it is supposed that it travels faster than light." 

He added, “If we try to send a rocket inside it then the velocity of it should be more than light. And at this point, the physics would break as whatever is infinite cannot be fathomed by physics." 
When a material revolves around the black holes, they attract it. For example, if a star is going around it, it will pull the star material," he said. 

Due to the very high speed, they become hot and bright and speed creates chaotic conditions. This speed leads to the heating up of the particle which before going into the black hole for a short span emits light, but how it shots out is still not understood. 

"Scientists have been observing jets for decades, but we are unable to understand it,” he said, adding that for the first time, scientists have captured the time delay between appearance of X-rays and the appearance of optical light in a stellar-mass black hole at the moment jet plasma is activated. 

"If we consider the sun to be a black hole, then the three-kilometer surface area around it is called as 'event horizon.' Research is going on to image the event horizon, how bright they are and how they are going to be influenced by their surroundings is still unknown,” he said. 

Two years ago India launched the 'Astrosat Satellite' which will help in better understanding of black holes and studying their behaviour in detail, he added. "Astrosat launched an X-ray satellite so that we can measure the radiations. The high energy radiation plasma will help in understanding the black holes. I am studying this data generated by Astrosat,” he said.  

About astronomer Poshak Gandhi 
Born and brought up in Delhi, Poshak moved to the UK after completing his BSc in physics at Delhi University. Born to a linguist father and computer scientist mother, Poshak was exposed to science at an early age because of his father would be moving around countries. Poshak vividly remembers how an encyclopedia gifted to him at the age of 10 by his parents sparked an interest in him about space, its vastness and astronomy. 

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