Scientists have observed behavior from a super massive black hole approximately 26 million light years away from a galaxy called NGC 5195 that may change the way we think about black holes forever.
Although black holes have been long thought of as massive gravitational forces that suck in everything around them, including light, and store that matter forever, the latest observation shows that aforementioned black hole burping gasses, suggesting that matter can, in fact, leave the pull of a black hole after all.
"Apparently, black holes can also burp after their meal," the University of Texas's Eric Schlegel, who led the study, told NASA. "Our observation is important because this behavior would likely happen very often in the early universe, altering the evolution of galaxies. It is common for big black holes to expel gas outward, but rare to have such a close, resolved view of these events."
The burping was observed in X-ray images taken by NASA’s Chandra Observatory and show that interaction of the black hole with other matter in our universe and may have an impact on the evolution or birth of new galaxies.
The new data suggests that black holes can actually create matter, and not just destroy it. The expelled gasses, which included hydrogen gas, may offer a clue to how galaxies, and even stars, are formed.
Because of the distance of the black hole from the Earth, the data we’re seeing didn’t just happen recently, but instead, happened a few million years ago. The time it takes for light to get from the black hole to Earth is 27 million years, so we’re actually seeing something with a delay.
Nonetheless, it reveals some critical information about black holes, some of the strangest and misunderstood spatial entities of our universe, and may help reveal clues as to how our universe got to be how it is today.
Source: Chandra X-Ray Observatory