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Polarized emissions from an Extragalactic Black hole

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: HT

 Context: Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati and the UR Rao Satellite Centre of ISRO have achieved a groundbreaking discovery by detecting polarized emissions from an extragalactic black hole (i.e., outside our Milky Way Galaxy) marking the first such observation beyond our Milky Way Galaxy.


The team utilized X-ray polarimetry to study the binary star system ‘Large Magellanic Cloud X-3 (LMC X3),‘ consisting of a black hole and a massive star. The findings observed using NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) and other missions, provide insights into understanding the nature of astrophysical black hole sources.


What is Polarized emissions?

Polarized emissions refer to electromagnetic waves, such as light or X-rays, whose electric field vectors oscillate predominantly in a specific direction. In astrophysics, detecting polarized emissions from celestial objects, like black holes, provides valuable information about the object’s physical properties and surrounding environment.


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