Black Hole Unleashes Supermassive Belch

Black Hole Unleashes Supermassive Belch

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While innocently surveying the Cosmos, astronomers serendipitously stumbled across a particularly uncouth galaxy. NGC 660 unleashed an epic belch, an event that we could see 44 million light-years distant. This event emanated from the galaxy’s core, around the likely location of a supermassive black hole.

Why did the supermassive black hole in the galaxy’s core belch? As we’ve learned from observations of the black hole behemoth in the center of the Milky Way, black holes consume anything that strays too close. Any dust, gas, planets, aliens or stars that fall into the black hole’s gravitational well will be ripped apart and pulled into a violent accretion disk surrounding the black hole’s event horizon. Through processes that aren’t fully understood, some of this matter is accelerated and ejected from the black hole’s poles at relativistic speeds, generating superheated streams of gas. In the case of NGC 660, its black hole is likely feeding, erupting huge streams of radio-emitting gas.

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