Supermassive black gap 'double burps' - then naps

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The Chandra X-ray observatory data was compared by researchers to visible light data gathered from the Hubble Space Telescope.

The two burps occur within the span of 100,000 years, confirm that supermassive black holes go through cycles of hibernation and activity.

Comerford said the team observed a remnant emission south of the center of the galaxy that indicated there was a black hole feasting event roughly a million years ago.

With supermassive black holes, the gas that they accrete in space generates a lot of electromagnetic radiation as it becomes increasingly dense and is pulled towards the event horizon.


According to a report in The TeCake, the image of the galaxy harboring the massive black hole was first released by the scientists during American Astronomical Society's winter meeting in National Harbor.

A rare supermassive black hole has been seen unleashing a huge "double burp" after feasting on stars, gas and planets from a nearby galaxy.

Supermassive black holes are supposed to be there at the heart place of every galaxy virtually and they are also said to be heavier than the sun by millions of times.

Chandra detected a bright, point-like source of X-ray emission from J1354, a tell-tale sign of the presence of an extremely massive black hole.


The supermassive black hole, known as an active galactic nucleus, is growing quickly in the center of a galaxy called SDSS J1354+1327 or J1354, which is about 800 million light-years away from Earth.

"We are seeing this object feast, burp and nap, and then feast, burp and nap once again, which theory had predicted", she said. "Fortunately, we happened to observe this galaxy in a moment where we could clearly see evidence for both events". The separate outbursts from the black hole are caused by different clumps from this stream being consumed by the supermassive black hole.

The two-course meal for the black hole comes from a companion galaxy that collided with J1354 in the past.

'This collision produced a stream of stars and gas that links J1354 and the other galaxy. Co-authors on the new study include postdoctoral fellows Rebecca Nevin, Scott Barrows and Francisco Muller-Sanchez of CU Boulder, Jenny Greene of Princeton University, David Pooley from Trinity University, Daniel Stern from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Fiona Harrison from the California Institute of Technology. "We were able to show that the gas from the north part of the galaxy was consistent with an advancing edge of a shock wave, and the gas from the south was consistent with an older quasar outflow". This stripping was likely caused by a burst of radiation from the vicinity of the black hole, indicating that the first of the two feasting events had occurred.


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