Supermassive Black Hole Unleashes Giant Burp in Space-Twice

Federico Mansilla
Enero 12, 2018

Astronomers have caught a massive black hole letting out a "double burp" after bingeing on hot gas.

The black hole in question, known as J1354, is situated about 800 million light years from Earth and was studied using data captured by Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray observatory, the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Apache Point Observatory.

'Black holes are voracious eaters, but it also turns out they don't have very good table manners, ' study coauthor and University of Colorado scientist Dr Julie Comerford told the 231st American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, DC, yesterday. They saw a loop of gas that indicated the more recent belch.

'We know 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. These supermassive black holes are million times heavier than the Sun and scientists consider that these holes are in the centre of every galaxy.

The burp itself consists of a stream of high-energy particles that is kicked back from the black hole.

This is an image of galaxy SDSS J1354 1327 (lower center) and its companion galaxy SDSS J1354 1328 (upper right).

Sometimes a black hole throws back radiation in what astrophysicists have dubbed a "burp".

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Hubble was able to show them that a cloud of blue-green gas extending away from the black hole represented the aftermath of an earlier burp.

"Our galaxy's supermassive black hole is now napping after a big meal, just like J1354's black hole has in the past". Scientists recorded two belches in a row.

'If our Milky Way's black hole became active again, we are far enough away from it that we would be fine.

"Theory predicted that black holes should flicker on and off very quickly and this galaxy's evidence of black holes does flicker on timescales of 100,000 years - which is long in human timescales, but in cosmological timescales is very fast", said Julie Comerford. The reason for this might lie with the fact that the galaxy it's in had collided with another galaxy nearby.

"There's a stream of stars and gas connecting these two galaxies".

A team of researcher found out that the enormous black hole was taking burp.

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