Tuesday, 12 January, 2016

Chandra Spots Very Active Supermassive Black Hole 26 Million Light-Years Away

This galaxy has two black holes – and one of them is very strange
Emely Stone | 09 January, 2016, 02:33

Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the researchers spotted twin arcs of X-ray emissions from the black hole in question, which they believe to be the aftereffects of a big meal that happened millions of years ago (the jets, they say, would have taken 1 million to 6 million years to reach their current positions). This is a clear case where a supermassive black hole is affecting its host galaxy in a phenomenon that astronomers call 'feedback'. "But at the same time, it can be responsible for how some stars form, showing that black holes can be creative, not just destructive", said team member Dr Marie Machacek, also of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. It contains one of the nearest supermassive black holes to Earth that's now undergoing such violent outbursts.

Eric Schlegel, of the University of Texas San Antonio who led the study, stated in a press release from the Chandra X-ray Observatory this week that, "For an analogy, astronomers often refer to black holes as "eating" stars and gas". Some scientists have even theorized that black holes are a link to other universe.

The merging galaxies a billion light years away each came with their own baggage: Dust, stars, gas, and a supermassive black hole apiece.

According to the scientists, the hot gas that is believed to have generated the X-ray emissions, dived into colder regions. NGC 5195 is part of a collective of galaxies, including the Messier 51 galaxy, known as "The Whirlpool". The gravitational force of two galaxies intermingling would have been massive, and might have caused some of the material surrounding the black hole to disperse.

In NGC 5195, the qualities of the gas around the X-ray-glowing arcs show that the outer arc has plowed enough material to induce the development of new stars.

"We think that feedback keeps galaxies from becoming too large". This is an inevitable part of black hole growth in galactic evolution. The system is presently facing two major activities, the ongoing collision and second is the merger of two galaxies i.e. the larger spiral galaxy NGC 5194 and NGC 5195. Intermediate black holes are 100 to 1 million times the mass of our sun. Some observations of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei hint of their existence and detections of ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in nearby galaxies have also provided clues. Schlegel is the lead author of a new study on these cosmic belches, which was presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The black hole observed in November was much farther from Earth - 300 million light-years away. Laura Vega, of the Fisk University and Vanderbilt University Bridge Program, in Nashville, Tennessee was also a co-author of the paper.