A team of Indian astronomers headed by Alok Chandra Gupta from the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) has reported BL Lacertae, which is one of the strongest flares from a feeding supermassive black hole, referred to as a blazar. It is considered to be one of the oldest astronomical objects and can assist in tracing the mass of the black hole and the source of this emission.
Furthermore, this discovery can guide towards investigating into the mysteries and uncover events at different stages of the universe’s evolution. The detection of this high flare was done on 16th January, 2021 through the support of 1.3m Devasthal Fast Optical Telescopes and the Sampurnanand Telescope.
Gupta said, this class of objects is very unique. They have complete electromagnetic emission, that is they emit radiation in all electromagnetic bands Radio Waves, Microwaves Infrared, Visible Light, Ultraviolet (UV), X-Rays and Gamma Rays which is not something all objects can do. Gamma ray births do this, but they are short lived. BL Lacertae blazar is 10 million light years away and is among the 50 most prominent blazars that can be observed with the help of a relatively small telescope. It was among the three to four blazars that was predicted to be experiencing flares by the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT), an international consortium of astronomers.
As of now, only 5000 blazars are known out of which only 50 are prominent ones that enables observations spanning over a long period of time. These objects are deemed to be the most distant, which implies that they were created at a very nascent stage of the formation of universe. Feeding supermassive black holes tend to attract a whole lot of attention from astronomers due to its complicated emission mechanism.