Amazed! Astronomers Capture Black Hole Erupting


A group of astronomers has captured this stunning photo of an erupting supermassive black hole. The photo obtained is of radio emission caused by the active feeding of the black hole.

According to astronomers, the image includes 16 side-by-side full moons. The photo shows a black hole located in Centaurus A, a giant elliptical galaxy located 12 million light-years from our planet.

This image shows the galaxy at radio wavelengths, revealing vast lobes of plasma that reach far beyond the visible galaxy, occupying only a small patch in the center of the image. The dots in the background are not stars, but radio galaxies like Centaurus A, at a greater distance. Photo: Ben McKinley, ICRAR/Curtin and Connor Matherne, Louisiana State University

Astronomers say that when gas and other particles fall into a black hole, it erupts, eating the particles. The "radio bubbles" emitted by the black hole then expand at almost the speed of light. The bubbles then grow over hundreds of millions of years.

"We captured a photo of a black hole erupting from Earth. Viewed that way, the eruption lasted for the same 16 full moons side by side," they wrote in a scientific paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

They captured this particular image using the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope in Western Australia. Astronomers also say that the photo is the most complete they have ever captured of an erupting black hole.

Benjamin McKinley of Curtin University said the radio waves in the image came from all the particles that were eaten up by the black hole.

"This forms a disk around the black hole, and as the torn material approaches the black hole, strong jets form on both sides of the disk, ejecting most of the material back into space, to a distance of perhaps over a million light years," he said. .

He also said that their previous observations could not handle the extreme brightness of the erupting black hole. This condition causes the image to become distorted around the ejection. Now, however, this new image provides a deeper insight into the details surrounding the eruption.

Dr. McKinley also said that because Centaurus A is so close to Earth, we can learn a lot from observing the black hole at the center of the galaxy.

Scientists can then use this research to expand our knowledge of how black holes work, and how they continually feed on the particles in their vicinity.

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