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Researchers Catch Supermassive Black Hole Burping — Twice

12 Jan 2018, 21:46 UTC
Researchers Catch Supermassive Black Hole Burping — Twice
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The galaxy under study, called SDSS J1354+1327 (J1354 for short), is about 800 million light-years from Earth. The team used observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope (HST), as well as the W.M. Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and the Apache Point Observatory (APO) near Sunspot, New Mexico.Chandra detected a bright, point-like source of X-ray emission from J1354, a telltale sign of the presence of a supermassive black hole millions or billions of times more massive than our sun. The X-rays are produced by gas heated to millions of degrees by the enormous gravitational and magnetic forces near the black hole. Some of this gas will fall into the black hole, while a portion will be expelled in a powerful outflow of high-energy particles.By comparing images from Chandra and HST, the team determined that the black hole is located in the center of the galaxy, the expected address for such an object. The X-ray data also show that the supermassive black hole is embedded in a heavy veil of gas.The optical data indicate that, in the past, the supermassive black hole appears to have consumed, or accreted, large amounts of gas while blasting off an outflow ...

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