Supermassive Black Hole lets out a double burp!

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Artwork showing a black hole consuming nearby matter. Photo Credit: NASA

What is a Black Hole?

A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so hard that even light cannot get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been packed into a tiny space. Because no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes based on their interaction with surrounding objects in space.

Black holes are born when massive stars collapse in on themselves and create a region of gravity. Black holes can be small, large, or supermassive. Scientists have found proof that every large galaxy contains a supermassive black hole at its center. The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, is called Sagittarius A.

The Chandra space telescope, Photo Credit: NASA

It is sometimes said that black holes are so dense that they are “eating” stars, cosmic gas and dust, as they grab everything around them. What happens when you eat too much sometimes? You belch or burp! Sometimes when you have eaten WAAAAAAY too much, you might let out a double burp! When cosmic gas comes near one of the black holes, it gets sucked in – but some of the energy can be released back into space in the form of a burp.

NASA’s Chandra X-ray telescope just reported a Supermassive Black Hole that let out a double burp of high-energy particles. This is the first time researchers were able to observe this cosmic phenomenon twice in the same black hole.

 

Arrows point to the the two burps of gas coming from the black hole; the top arrow points to the newer burp and the bottom arrow points to the older one

 

 

 

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