Supermassive Black Hole Found Burping Close To Earth

Posted: Jan 6 2016, 4:00am CST | by , Updated: Jan 6 2016, 4:39am CST, in News | Latest Science News

NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Detects Supermassive Black Hole Burping Close to Earth
Galaxy NGC 5195 Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Texas/E.Schlegel et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
  • NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory detects Big Black Hole burping close to the Earth

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has managed to detect a big black hole which is burping close to the earth.

Potent seizures are occurring in a humongous black hole nearby. It was discovered by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. It is the nearest black hole and the changes occurring in it are violent indeed.

The black hole is situated at the center of a minuscule galaxy named NGC 5195. It further merges with another galaxy NGC 5194 which is also known as “The Whirlpool”. Both galaxies are in the Messier 51 galaxy cluster which is located 26 million light years from earth.

Astronomers have often talked about black holes as giant vacuum cleaners in space. They literally gulp up stars and gaseous material in the depths of space.

However, did you know that black holes also burp some of their contents after making a meal of nearby planets and asteroids. Such a series of acts would most likely have taken place in the conditions that held sway in the early universe.

Such an action would have radically changed the evolution of many galaxies. It is a very common phenomenon to have big black holes burping out material time after time.

“For an analogy, astronomers often refer to black holes as 'eating' stars and gas. Apparently, black holes can also burp after their meal,” said Eric Schlegel of The University of Texas in San Antonio, who led the study.

“Our observation is important because this behavior would likely happen very often in the early universe, altering the evolution of galaxies. It is common for big black holes to expel gas outward, but rare to have such a close, resolved view of these events.”

The data generated by the Chandra Observatory shows that there are two arcs of X-ray emission near the center point of NGC 5195. The arcs are probably the fossil remains of when the black hole underwent two huge blasts. A lot of material was vomited out into the universe.

“We think these arcs represent fossils from two enormous blasts when the black hole expelled material outward into the galaxy,” said co-author Christine Jones of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass.

“This activity is likely to have had a big effect on the galactic landscape.”

The galactic terrain probably evolved quickly in response to this burping activity of the black hole. Outside the outer X-ray arc, the astronomers detected cool hydrogen gas emissions. The hotter X-ray gas seems to have scooped up the hydrogen gas from the center of the galaxy.

A supermassive black hole is thus changing its host galaxy in what can only be termed as a feedback loop. Such a feedback loop may keep galaxies from becoming too big.

When gaseous matter was funneled into the event horizon of the black hole, the energy provided by this would cause the outbursts or burping activity.

The inner arc took some one to three million years to reach its present state and it took about three to six million years for the outer arc to form into what it is today.

The arcs have a significance and this study using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory is of seminal importance in the annals of astrophysics.

“We think that feedback keeps galaxies from becoming too large,” said co-author Marie Machacek of CfA. “But at the same time, it can be responsible for how some stars form. This shows that black holes can create, not just destroy.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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