The Milky Way’s supermassive black hole has shown scientists it’s not a “sleeping monster” by ejecting a jet-like blowtorch.
The Milky Way’s supermassive black hole has leaked and ejected a “blowtorch-like jet” into space.
NASA scientists have discovered this phenomenon that occurs almost every thousand years. They believe this occurs when the black hole swallows something larger – such as a cloud of gas – before the jet is ejected.
Sagittarius A* is at the galactic center of our galaxy and has a mass of 4.1 million times the mass of our Sun.
The new research was led by Professor Gerald Cecil of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who “like a puzzle” pieced together multi-wavelength observations from different telescopes.
The data was mostly taken from two of NASA’s telescopes – Hubble and Chandra – although the jets of gas were not captured.
“Astronomers Using Hubble Space Telescope Capture Glowing Cloud of Hydrogen Near Black Hole,” NASA said in a statement.
“The explanation is that the cloud is being hit by a narrow, columned jet of material that was blasted from a black hole only 2000 years ago.
“This is further evidence that a black hole with a mass of 4.1 million suns is not a sleeping monster, but a periodic hiccup as stars and clouds of gas fall into it.”
As the jet flies through hydrogen gas, it collides with cosmic matter to form a series of expanding bubbles that expand outwards.
These currents then exit the Milky Way’s gas disk into the galactic halo.
it comes as black hole closest to earth are on a collision course and will potentially form a supermassive black hole in which researchers will salivate over the possibility.
Fortunately for life on Earth, the two regions of space are 89 million light-years apart.
Despite the vast distance, they are still the closest black hole to Earth and this proximity indicates that they are moving towards each other and will collide and merge – forming a supermassive black hole.
The last largest supermassive black hole pair has been found 470 million light-years away from Earth.