Astronomers have spotted a black hole with two massive waves of gas emanating from it in a nearby galaxy.
The world of astronomy is abuzz with the news that scientists have spotted two massive waves of gas being burped by a supermassive black hole at the center of a nearby galaxy.
NASA’s Chandra space telescope was used to detect these waves of hot gas via X-ray images, which were sweeping cooler hydrogen gas in front of them, according to a BBC report.
This galaxy is known as NGC 5194, and it is located just 26 million light years away — certainly not close enough to cause us any concerns, but it is definitely one of the closest black holes found to be belching gas.
It’s an interesting phenomenon known as “feedback,” which is a mechanism that prevents galaxies from getting too big that can also result in the formation of new stars.
The galaxy is the smaller sibling of the Whirlpool Galaxy, and scientists think that NGC 5194’s black hole probably is burping because it gobbled up a lot of material expelled from the Whirlpool Galaxy. Once all that matter falls into the black hole, the black hole expels energy, resulting in the burps you see.
Astronomers spotted deep red light in the thin strip in front of the outermost wave, which is an indication that there is hydrogen, which seems to prove that this is a burp and not mass going into the black hole.
“Just as powerful storms here on Earth impact their environments, so too do the ones we see out in space,” Eric Schlegel, Vaughn Family Endowed Professor in Physics at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), said in a statement. “This black hole is blasting hot gas and particles into its surroundings that must play an important role in the evolution of the galaxy.”