Hubble views a supermassive black hole burping — twice

Researchers using a suite of telescopes including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have spotted a supermassive black hole blowing huge bubbles of hot, bright gas — one bubble is currently expanding outwards from the black hole, while another older bubble slowly fades away. This cosmic behemoth sits within the galaxy at the bottom of this image, which lies 900 million light-years from Earth and is known as SDSS J1354+1327. The upper, larger, galaxy is known as SDSS J1354+1328.

Supermassive which can have a mass equivalent to billions of suns, are found in the centre of most galaxies (including the Milky Way). These black holes are able to “feed” on their surroundings, causing them to shine brilliantly as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). However, this feeding process is not continuous as it depends on how much matter is available for the black hole to consume; if the surrounding material is clumpy and irregular, an AGN can be seen turning “off” and “on”, and flickering over long cosmic timescales.

This clumpy accretion is what scientists believe has happened with the black hole in SDSS J1354+1327. Scientists believe these two outflows of material are the result of the black hole burping out material after two different feeding events. The first outburst created the fading southern relic: a cone of gas measuring 33 000 light-years across. Around 100 000 years later, a second burst spawned the more compact and radiant outflow emanating from the top of the galaxy: a cone of shocked gas some 3300 light-years across.

Link:

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and J. Comerford (University of Colorado-Boulder)

About the Image

Id:potw1803a
Type:Observation
Release date:15 January 2018, 06:00
Size:933 x 700 px

About the Object

Name:SDSS J1354+1327, SDSS J1354+1328
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole
Distance:900 million light years
Constellation:Bootes
Category:Quasars and Black Holes

Image Formats

Large JPEG
181.5 KB
Screensize JPEG
156.1 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
203.3 KB
1280x1024
310.0 KB
1600x1200
425.1 KB
1920x1200
477.7 KB
2048x1536
623.8 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):13 54 29.22
Position (Dec):13° 28' 1.32"
Field of view:0.62 x 0.46 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 27.4° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
X-ray
2−10 keV
Chandra
ACIS
Optical
B
438 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

Also see our


Accelerated by CDN77