A Black Hole’s Burp Captured By NASA TelescopeDaniel McCarthy (Author) Published Date : Jan 06, 2016 16:20 IST
NASA s Chandra space telescope was able to capture photos of what happens after a black hole swallows a nearby galaxy it burps.
The images show a black hole releasing two huge waves of hot gas after having to devour a nearby galaxy. These two hot gas waves swept away the colder hydrogen gas in front of them.
For an analogy, astronomers often refer to black holes as eating stars and gas, explained study leader Eric Schlegel of the University of Texas.
Apparently, black holes can also burp after their meal, Schlegel said.
This phenomenon was observed in NGC 5194, a small galaxy located 27 light years away from Earth. NGC 5195 is currently in a transition phase and is about to merge with another galaxy, the large spiral shaped NGC519 also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy.
Scientists now believe that, rather than just devouring stars, black holes may also be playing a part in creating new ones. The photo s show a black hole not just consuming matter but also creating or ejecting material.
The scientists believe that these findings are an example of feedback between a galaxy and a supermassive black hole.
We think that feedback keeps galaxies from becoming too large, said study co-author Marie Machacek of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
But at the same time, it can be responsible for how some stars form. This shows that black holes can create, not just destroy, she said.
The phenomenon captured by the Chandra telescope is thought to have been a common enough event during the early stages of the creation of the Universe. However, this is the first time that this event was witnessed at such a close range to Earth.
This behaviour 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, said Schlegel.
According to the astronomer s calculations, the first wave must have been released around 3 to 6 million years ago. The second wave would have been released around 1 or 2 million years afterwards.
During a phenomenon like this, the first wave to be released from the black hole carries with it quantities of hydrogen gas. The accumulated gas could eventually compact and can lead to the creation of new stars.
A Black Hole’s Burp Captured By NASA Telescope