Supermassive Black Hole Found Farting A Trillion Suns' Worth Of Energy
By Loren Grush
At the center of any massive galaxy, you‘ll most likely find one daunting portion of space-time: a supermassive black hole. These gigantic gravity wells are so enormous, they have a mass that‘s equal to millions or even billions of times the mass of our Sun. While extremely powerful, black holes can be relatively hard to study. But now researchers have accurately measured a substantial byproduct of supermassive black holes: winds that travel at more than 62,000 miles per second. Researchers have long theorized that when a black hole draws in matter with its large gravitational pull, the process produces huge x-ray-emitting wind gusts, which emanate from the hole and shoot out into the nearby galaxy. While this concept had been widely accepted in the scientific community, no one really knew what shape these winds took. Using NASA‘s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array and the ESA‘s XMM-Newton telescope, researchers from Caltech and Keele University of England were able to measure the speed, shape, and size of the winds blasting out from PDS 456—a super bright black hole located two billion light-years away. PDS 456 is a type of black hole known as a quasar, meaning it is extremely luminous. According to Emanuele Nardini, the lead author of the study, which published in Science, the winds are actually a result of the brightness surrounding the black hole. "When the energy of the matter that is folding into the black hole is released, this energy is turned into heat, creating huge luminosity," Nardini tells Popular Science. "When this luminosity is high enough to counteract the black hole‘s gravitational attraction (about 10 billion times that of the Sun), it can push wind gusts outward"
Disponível em: http://www.popsci.com/telescopes-determine-shape-powerful-winds-birthed-black-holes
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