Research

Scientists captured the super-massive black hole while burping

Scientists captured the super-massive black hole while burping

This simply means that one of them was ejected to one side of the black hole, and the other one, which is actually bigger and more compact, got ejected 100 thousand year later, in the other direction. Investigators said that they are very fortunate that they observed this galaxy in a moment where they were able to see both these events very clearly. Great plumes of gas, matter and radiation can be ejected by black holes, and in fact, scientists theorized that these "burps" ought to come at pretty quick intervals if a black hole is well fed. Those two burps are evidence of black hole activity, which has been suggested for a long time.

They tend to occur after events where the black hole has engulfed a large amount of matter, which some scientists call a "meal". The first burp took place far more than a hundred thousand years ago, and the resultant gas that's been released into the universe has been traveling away from the black hole ever since.

Astronomers have predicted supermassive black holes flicker on and off due to gas "feeding events", but the CU research is the strongest evidence of its kind illustrating black holes switching off and on over timescales that seem short when compared to the age of the universe - 13.8 billion years old, CU scientists said.

The team of researchers, that published a journal entry on the results, declared they believe the black hole could have burped twice thanks to a collision between two galaxies.

The galaxy under study, known to the researchers as J1354, is about 900 million light-years from Earth.

For comparison, one light-year is approximately 6 trillion miles.

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One was Hubble Space Telescope, and another one was Chandra X-ray Observatory. The Apache Point facility is owned by the Astrophysical Research Consortium, a group of 10 US research institutions that includes CU Boulder.

"There are a lot of examples of black holes with single burps emanating out, but we discovered a galaxy with a supermassive black hole that has not one but two burps".

They found that electrons had been stripped from atoms in the cone of gas and surmise that this was caused by a burst of radiation from the vicinity of the black hole.

Ms Comerford stated: "There's a stream of stars and gas connecting these two galaxies".

Dr Comerford said that the black hole was going through a cycle of feasting, belching and napping, before starting again. The X-ray spectrum shows the supermassive black hole lies within a heavy veil of dust and gas, said Comerford.

"This galaxy really caught us off guard", said study author and University of Colorado Boulder doctoral student Rebecca Nevin. She added that if our solar system was close to the black hole than it would be hazardous for us.