While it is normal for the supermassive black hole to fluctuate slightly in brightness, the researchers found Sagittarius A*-which is four million times the mass of the sun-had gotten 75 times brighter than normal.
The unusually bright flux levels and variability showed peaks that exceeded twice the historical measurements of the black hole.
If this is the case, it's fair to say that this increase in brightness is due to the supermassive black hole "feeding" on some form of dust surrounding it.
A black hole is a zone of spacetime which has gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing can escape from it: particles, radiation (light) are all swallowed never to be seen again.More news: Blue-green algae takes the lives of three dogs
The black hole often flickers, but outbursts are incredibly rare. That's the brightest we've ever seen Sgr A* in near-infrared wavelengths.
S0-2 has been spotted a mere 17 light-hours away from the center as recently as a year ago, and it's possible that the star's close relationship with the black hole has led to an increase in gas being swallowed up by it, which may have led to a burst of radiation visible using infrared.
Regardless of what caused the enormous flash of bright light from the supermassive black hole, one thing is certain: It's a lot of fun to guess about what happened. The findings so far are presently in press with The Astrophysical Journal Letters and is available on arXiv. The team points to two possibilities. One is G2, an object thought to be a gas cloud that approached within 36 light-hours of Sgr A* in 2014. See that bright dot at around 11 o'clock from the black hole?
A couple of objects known to be very close to the galactic center are likely suspects. Last year, it made its closest approach, coming within 17 light-hours of the black hole. It was later termed as a "cosmic fizzle", however, the astronomers feel that the glowing of the black hole in May might have been a delayed reaction.More news: Look at six shortlisted candidates for Team India`s head coach post
Do told Science Alert, 'One of the possibilities, is that the star S0-2, when it passed close to the black hole past year, changed the way gas flows into the black hole, and so more gas is falling on it, leading it to become more variable'.
However, the only way to find out is by having more data, which is being collected across a larger range of wavelengths. They are now being collected, across a larger range of wavelengths.
There are only a few weeks left before the black hole will be visible from the Keck Observatory.
Other teams and telescopes, such as Spitzer, Swift, Chandra, and ALMA, have also been observing Sagittarius A*. The data may reveal different aspects of physics of the change in brightness, and help us understand what is happening to Sgr A*.More news: Fortnite World Cup champion Bugha swatted on stream
"The 2019 measurements push the limits of the current statistical models", the authors wrote in the study.