Using the ESA XMM-Newton satellite and the NASA Chandra spacecraft, an international group of astronomers investigated the particular behaviour of quasi-periodic eruptions in the active galaxy GSN 069. The results of the study, published on arXiv.org, shed more light on the nature of the phenomenon.
In order to obtain more information on the nature of the GSN 069, a group of astronomers led by Giovanni Miniutti of the Spanish Astrobiological Center in Madrid, Spain, analysed the data collected between 2010 and 2021 by XMM-Newton and Chandra.
The study confirmed that QPE in GSN 069 is a temporary phenomenon, the first quasi-explosion in the galaxy was discovered on 24 December 2018 and the last in January 2020, and the total time of these eruptions was between 1 and 5.5 years.
QPE, measured in high-energy ranges, has turned out to be stronger, peaking and shorter than measured in lower energy, and scientists have also found that the variability in observational levels with QPEs shows quasi-periodic variations at average repetition time due to observation.
The study also showed that since the last observation of QPE, the X-rays of GSN 069 have increased significantly, reaching a second peak about 10 to 11 years after the first X-ray detection.
X-ray quasi-period eruptions are an unusual phenomenon associated with supermassive black holes in the centres of the galaxy that have recently been detected; they are extremely high-amplitude X-ray surges that are repeated every few hours and occur in the vicinity of SMCD in galaxy kernels.
GSN 069 is an active galaxy located about 250 million light years from Earth in the constellation Sculptor, first discovered in 2010 with the help of XML-Newton, and the mass of the central black hole in the galaxy is about 400,000 solar masses.