Supermassive black hole caught 'burping' twice after colliding with nearby galaxy

Mindy Sparks
January 13, 2018

When cosmic gas comes near one of these sinkholes, it gets sucked in - but some of the energy is released back into space in the form of a burp.

Supermassive black holes-which are millions of times heavier than our sun and are believed to be at the heart of virtually every galaxy-are like regular black holes in basic ways: Regions with such strong gravitational effects that nothing, not even light, can escape.

Details of Comerford and her team's study were published in the The Astrophysical Journal and presented January 11 at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to data collected by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers caught a black hole located in a galaxy 800 million light-years away displaying some bad table etiquette, not once but twice. To the north they saw a loop of gas that signaled the more recent burp. The team concluded that clumps of material from the companion galaxy swirled toward the center of J1354 and then were eaten by the supermassive black hole.

There is also an evidence that the black hole of the Milky Way belched as well maybe once. X-ray emission from the galaxy in question - called SDSS J1354+1327 - was picked up by the Chandra telescope, allowing researchers to pinpoint the location of its central black hole. This speed suggests that the black hole of Milky Way will surely going to burp again soon.

Black holes are the darlings of astrophysicists all over the world.


In the meantime, it had expanded 30,000 light-years away from the black hole itself.

Julie also said that this galactic burp is nothing to worry about.

"I thought of an analogy for this and I was debating whether to use it or whether it's a little too gross. imagine someone eating dinner at their kitchen table and they're eating and burping, eating and burping".

Black holes follow a predictable cycle of feasting, burping and then napping.

The observations are important because they support previous theories - not demonstrated until now - that black holes should go through these cycles.

So why did the black hole have two separate meals? But when the areas around supermassive black holes emit light stemming from feeding episodes, they are known as quasars, said Comerford of CU Boulder's Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences. The black hole swallows some of this gas while expelling another portion of it in an outflow of particles. The answer lies in a companion galaxy that is linked to J1354 by streams of stars and gas, said Comerford. It got kicked off when the galaxy collided with another, bringing lots of material to the black hole.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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