Huge black hole caught BURPING twice in space after 'hot gas binge'

Huge black hole caught BURPING twice in space after 'hot gas binge'

"Black holes are voracious eaters, but it turns out they don't have very good table manners", Julie Comerford, from the University of Colorado, Boulder, told the 231st American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington DC.

The Hubble and Chandra space telescopes detected the burp 800million light-years away. In fact, we already have well documented instances of such plumes of gas being ejected from black holes, but the duality of this fresh discovery is what makes it special.

These "burps" were followed by a period of rest, which researchers describe as the black hole 'taking a nap'. Great plumes of gas, matter and radiation can be ejected by black holes, and in fact, scientists theorized that these "burps" ought to come at pretty quick intervals if a black hole is well fed. The scientists first tried to pinpoint the exact location of the super massive blackhole using the Chandra telescope that observed the X-ray emissions coming out of the distant galaxy dubbed SDSS J1354+1327.

Theory held that supermassive black holes would go through a cycle of feasting, burping and then napping for a while, Comerford said, and spotting these belches helps set a pace for that process. The team concluded that clumps of material from the companion galaxy swirled toward the center of J1354 and then were eaten by the supermassive black hole. They found that electrons had been stripped from atoms in the cone of gas and surmise that this was caused by a burst of radiation from the vicinity of the black hole. "If our Milky Way's black hole became active again, we are far enough away from it that we would be fine", Comerford said.

But the astronomers found a little loop in the images; the sign of a new belch emerging from the cosmic sinkhole.

"You walk in the room and you notice there's an old burp still hanging in the air from the appetiser course". But when they were analyzing at a black hole burp that occurred nearly 100,000 years ago, they found out another new belch coming out from the same cosmic sinkhole.

The observations are important because they support previous theories - not demonstrated until now - that black holes should go through these cycles.

In a new study, scientists have discovered a new type of enormous black hole that releases not one but two massive "burps". 'Fortunately, we happened to observe this galaxy at a time when we could clearly see evidence for both events.' So why did the black hole have two separate meals?

The black hole Comerford imaged is getting its fuel from a companion galaxy next door - the two are exchanging a stream of stars and gas after recently colliding.