Scientists Caught Distant Supermassive Black Hole Burping


Researchers noticed that a black hole had produced two "burping" events. The team found radiation at the centre of the galaxy that showed that the black hole was feasting about million years ago. "That collision led gas to stream towards the supermassive black hole and feed it two separate meals that led to these two separate burps".

A space "burp" consists of high-energy particles being launched back into space from the depths of a black hole.

They tend to occur after events where the black hole has engulfed a large amount of matter, which some scientists call a "meal".

Ms Comerford explained: "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". She added that if our solar system was close to the black hole than it would be hazardous for us.

"We are seeing this object feast, burp, and nap, and then feast and burp once again, which theory had predicted", said Julie Comerford, leader of the study from the University of Colorado Boulder.

This energy is released in quasars which erupt right across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves through to visible light and X-ray wavelengths. One was Hubble Space Telescope, and another one was Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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They provided astronomers at Nasa with images that showed clouds of electrons that had been removed from atoms by a high-energy burst of radiation. It was spotted reflecting bright light because of the excessive gas it inhaled.

The black hole emit huge plumes of bright light from the double-burp.

It is quite common to see a black hole doing one burp, but extremely unusual to see it let rip twice in a row.

The dual effect, as the research team notes, is due to a companion galaxy that collided with SDSS J1354+1327 in the past. With so much circling this particular galactic drain all at the same time, it does make sense that occasionally, bottlenecked gas gets bubbled back out, spreading forth out into the galaxy as if deliberately and triumphantly enjoying its second lease of life. 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.

'The separate outbursts from the black hole are caused by different clumps from this stream being consumed by the supermassive black holes'.

"These are the kinds of bubbles we see after a black hole feeding event", said Comerford.