Astronomy

How does a blackhole burp?

How does a blackhole burp?


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Recently on the discovery channel I heard that a black hole burps matter out of it when it consumes more than it could process at a time. Given that even light cannot escape from a black hole, how does this "burp" matter escape?


The matter that the black hole is ingesting begins with some initial conditions outside of the black hole's event horizon, and due to numerous processes this surrounding matter loses energy and angular momentum and so falls into the black hole. The physics of this infall process can be quite complicated - especially if an accretion disk forms - but essentially, viscous friction between the particles that compose the infalling matter will cause it to lose momentum, among other possible processes.

There is a theoretical limit of how much matter a black hole (or any astrophysical object) may accrete: the Eddington luminosity limit. Basically, as the black hole swallows the matter it illuminates electromagnetic radiation due to the intense collisions the infalling matter is experiencing near the event horizon. Eddington found that once the luminosity of this emitted radiation reaches a certain limit, the accretor (in this case a black hole) will actually begin to expel the surrounding matter rather than continue swallowing it, due the fact that once the limit is reached the surrounding matter will be blown away by the radiation. See here and here for deeper explanations of this.

So the surrounding matter that is expelled (once the Eddington limit has been reached) did not ever reach the event horizon - it's expelled by radiation before it makes it that close to the black hole.

And here's a lovely image of a double burp! :)


Burp is a misleading word because the explosion energy of compressed hydrogen disk causes the burp energy. The black hole force/energy only draws inwards.

Black hole compression of matter is most powerful energy source in the visible universe.

Accretion disks and quasars happen especially in the early universe when free hydrogen was burped into projectile vomits going travelling nearly at light speed higher than the width of our galaxy.

It's like 1 supernova happening every minute.

Artist impressions and transverse sections of the "burp". https://www.google.fr/search?q=quasar+accretion+disk&num=100&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF0tnFvpneAhVnyoUKHYkQCMwQ_AUIDigB&biw=1257&bih=646


How Does a Black Hole Burp? Belching Supermassive Black Hole Has Big Implications for Physics

Last week, scientists presented an image of a supermassive black hole burping&mdashtwice. The behemoth had guzzled on gas before belching out a cloud of high-energy particles and settling in for a few thousand years' nap. Then it woke up and did the whole thing again. Eat, sleep, repeat.

But why do black holes burp, and what can this tell scientists?

High-Energy Particles

Intense gravitational and magnetic forces surround black holes. These can pull in large amounts of matter, creating a veil of dust and gas. As the greedy black hole feasts on this nearby gas, some is expelled in a powerful kind of burp. Each "burp" is really an outflow of high-energy particles, which astronomers can observe using X-ray images.

Double Belch

Scientists have seen black holes burp like this before. What's special about this new image is the fact it reveals two belches. About 100,000 years after the first burp, the black hole, which sits in the J1354 galaxy 800 million light years away, spewed out a second.

This confirms that black holes can turn their power output on and off in a relatively short space of time. Although 100,000 years might seem long, in cosmological terms it is minute, given that the universe itself began 13.8 billion years ago.

"We are seeing this object feast, burp, and nap, and then feast and burp once again, which theory had predicted," said Julie Comerford of the University of Colorado, who led the study, in a statement.

The information has big implications for physics. Repeated burps had been predicted, but this is the first time more than one has been observed from the same black hole.

By analyzing the area around the black hole, the scientists were also able to narrow in on the cause of this second belch. The researchers believe that a nearby galaxy collision sent clumps of gas swirling toward the black hole. Just like its first meal, the black hole ate, belched and then napped.

A Gassy Milky Way

The research suggests the supermassive black hole in our own galaxy could also burp repeatedly. It has belched at least once before and is currently lying in wait of another big feast.

University of Colorado postdoctoral fellow Scott Barrows says: "Our galaxy's supermassive black hole is now napping after a big meal, just like J1354's black hole has in the past. So we also expect our massive black hole to feast again, just as J1354's has."


Telescope Targets Black Holes' Binges And Burps

NASA's newest space telescope will start searching the universe for black holes on Wednesday. Scientists hope the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, which launched about six weeks ago and is now flying about 350 miles above the Earth, will help shed some light on the mysteries of these space oddities.

Mission control for the telescope is a small room on the University of California, Berkeley, campus, where about a dozen people with headsets rarely look up from their screens.

Fiona Harrison, a professor of physics and astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, is the principal scientist for the mission. If there's one word that describes her past few weeks, it's "nail-biting," she says.

The beginning of a space telescope's life is particularly stressful. It has to be switched on remotely, including the unfurling of a 33-foot arm that will act like a giant telephoto lens.

[Black holes] are sort of the Las Vegas of the universe. What happens in a black hole stays inside of a black hole. But on the outskirts of them, that is where there's tremendous action.

Joshua Bloom, associate professor of astronomy, University of California, Berkeley

Now, the $170 million telescope is just about ready to begin its hunt for black holes.

"We're not actually seeing the black hole," Harrison says. "What you're actually seeing is the stuff that's attracted to it."

Harrison says they're called black holes because not even light can escape their gravity. But black holes aren't passive — they pull in tons of dust and gas. The material swirls around faster and faster, just like a bathtub drain, and gets hotter.

"The material is so hot that it radiates high-energy X-rays," she says, just like the ones doctors use. She says researchers observed them before, but it's like reading a book without your glasses.

"We know there's a story there, we know there's text, but we haven't been able to read the letters," she says.

With NuSTAR, they'll be able to see these X-rays at a higher resolution than ever before.

"It's incredibly exciting because we don't actually know what the text is going to say. And now we're going to be able to read it clearly for the first time," she says.

Harrison hopes the telescope will unlock some of the mysteries around black holes — like how they grow.

Eliot Quataert, an astronomy professor at UC Berkeley who is not on the mission staff, says black holes grow just like we do — by eating.

"They eat dramatically, but rarely," he says.

And at the very center of our galaxy, there's a super massive black hole that has eaten quite a bit. But we're still here.

"The misconception that's out there is that black holes are a vacuum cleaner that will inevitably suck in everything around them," Quataert says. For the most part, black holes are on a forced diet — they've already eaten everything close by.

"But then every once in a while, there will be a lot of gas that gets funneled to the center of a galaxy, and the black hole will grow in a big spurt," he says.

Quataert says seeing this black hole mealtime with the telescope could reveal more about the extreme physics behind it. That could answer questions about how galaxies form. UC Berkeley astronomer Joshua Bloom hopes NuSTAR will find another strange phenomenon: black hole burps.


How does a blackhole burp? - Astronomy

Black holes have long been known for “destroying” matter, with scientists usually referring to them as “eating” gas and stars. This reputation may be about to change.

Astronomers noticed two gigantic waves of gas being “burped” by the massive black hole at the center of NGC 5195, a small galaxy 26 million light years from Earth. It’s one of the closest “supermassive” black holes to our planet to be showing such activity.

The team believes the outburst is a consequence of the interaction of NGC 5195 with a nearby, larger galaxy. The energy generated by the sudden inflow of gas towards the black hole caused the outburst, which, according to the team, amassed enough material to prompt the formation of new stars.

“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.”

Using X-ray images from NASA’s Chandra Observatory and optical images from the Kitt Peak National Observatory, Schlegel and his team spotted the two arcs of gas, preceded by a thin layer of cooler hydrogen gas. This suggests that the hotter gas snatched the hydrogen gas from the heart of the galaxy.

This outburst is an example of “feedback” between a supermassive black hole and the host galaxy.

“We think that feedback keeps galaxies from becoming too large,” said Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CFA)’s Marie Machacek, a co-author of the study. “But at the same time, it can be responsible for how some stars form. This shows that black holes can create, not just destroy.”

According to the team, who presented the study at the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, the burp happened a few million years ago: The inner wave of gas took about three million years to reach its current position, and the outer twice as much.


Monster Black Hole Burp Surprises Scientists

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Astronomers have discovered what appears to be colossal belch from a massive black hole at the heart of a distant galaxy. The outburst was 10 times as bright as the biggest star explosion, scientists say.

The potential super-sized black hole burp find came as astronomers studied the galaxy NGC 660, which is located 44 million light-years away in the constellation Pisces.

"The discovery was entirely serendipitous. Our observations were spread over a few years, and when we looked at them, we found that one galaxy had changed over that time from being placid and quiescent to undergone a hugely energetic outburst at the end," study researcher Robert Minchin of Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico said in a statement.

To determine whether the outburst was from a supernova &mdash the explosive end of a star &mdash or the galaxy's core, the researchers used the High Sensitivity Array, a global network of telescopes that includes the Very Long Baseline Array, the Arecibo Telescope, the NSF's 100-meter Green Bank Telescope, and the 100-meter Effelsberg Radio Telescope in Germany.

Instead of an expanding ring of material suggesting a supernova event, the researchers found five locations with bright radio emissions clustered around the galaxy's core.

"The most likely explanation is that there are jets coming from the core, but they are precessing, or wobbling, and the hot spots we see are where the jets slammed into the material near the galaxy's nucleus," said Chris Salter, also of the Arecibo Observatory.

Those jets, the researchers said, would mean the outburst likely came from a supermassive black hole at the heart of galaxy NGC 660. As the black hole devours dust and mass, it pulls a whirling disk of matter into its heart that spews jets of particles as it is consumed.

Supermassive black holes are colossal structures at the cores of galaxies that are between millions and billions of times as massive as the sun. They are much larger than stellar-mass black holes, which are created from the deaths of giant stars and can contain the mass of about 10 suns.


Astronomers Spy a Black Hole’s Double ‘Burp’

Black holes are notoriously messy eaters, blasting the scraps of shredded stars as enormous belches of gas and dust. Now, for the first time, astronomers spotted the same black hole letting out two hearty burps.

"Black holes are voracious eaters, but it also turns out they don't have very good table manners," astronomer Julia M. Comerford said during a news conference at the American Astronomical Society's winter meeting, Sarah Lewin reports for Space.com. "We know a lot of examples of black holes with single burps emanating out, but we discovered a galaxy with a supermassive black hole that has not one but two burps."

It’s not uncommon for astronomers to observe the aftermath of a black hole guzzling down a star—while most of the material is lost behind its event horizon (what Lewin aptly calls the "point of no return"), traces of its meal are burped out in high-energy jets of particles that are blasted into space. Astronomers have long theorized that supermassive black holes—the black holes millions to billions times the mass of the sun that lurk in the center of galaxies—go through periods of activity and quiescence, a cycle of feeding and naps over enormous timescales.

Now, a team of researchers led by Comerford have witnessed the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy  about𧐠 million light-years from Earth  emitting these jets twice, the scientists write in an article for The Astrophysical Journal. The Hubble Space Telescope imaged the black hole in visible light and the Chandra X-ray Observatory scanned it using X-rays. The space telescopes captured two gas bubbles shocked by jets of fast-moving particles.

One was a cloud of blue-green gas. It was ionized, meaning its electrons were stripped from its atoms, Paul Rincon reports for BBC, which suggests that the cloud was blasted by radiation from the black hole. Researchers measured the cloud lingering some 30,000 light-years from the black hole, and during its lengthy time of traveling the "burp" had plenty of time to expand.

The younger burp, however, is a small loop that’s only 3,000 light-years from the black hole, Lewis writes. The two clouds were the result of two different feeding episodes for the black hole with a 100,000 year resting period in between. The long period between events matches computer models of how black holes feed, Lewis reports.

"Imagine someone eating dinner at their kitchen table and they're eating and burping, eating and burping,” Comerford​ tells Ricon. "You walk in the room and you notice there's an old burp still hanging in the air from the appetizer course. Meanwhile, they're eating the main course and they let out a new burp that's rocking the kitchen table."

The same situation could be happening with Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole in the center of our home Milky Way galaxy. "Right now, our galaxy's supermassive black hole is firmly in the nap phase of the feast-burp-nap cycle, but it's just waiting for its next meal to come along," Comerford tells Lewis. "In the future, it will probably feast and burp once again."

While high-energy jets emerging from black holes can be dangerous to anything nearby, the solar system is sufficiently on the outskirts of the Milky Way, so we won't be at risk if Sagittarius A* awakens for a snack.


Supermassive Black Hole Unleashes Giant Burp in Space—Twice

In space, no-one can hear you burp. Unfortunately for supermassive black holes, we can still see them belching. Scientists have watched a distant black hole burp out clouds of high energy particles&mdashtwice.

Combing images of the J1354 galaxy 800 million light-years away, they found two pools of the particles blasted from a black hole. About 100,000 years apart, the two belches are evidence of long-suspected black hole activity.

The research was presented yesterday at the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting in Washington, DC. It was also recently published in The Astrophysical Journal.

"We are seeing this object feast, burp, and nap, and then feast and burp once again, which theory had predicted," said Julie Comerford of the University of Colorado, who led the study, in a statement.

While black hole burps have been observed before, this was a lucky chance to confirm multiple belches. The discovery is evidence that black holes can switch their power outputs on and off more repeatedly.

"This galaxy really caught us off guard," said study author and University of Colorado Boulder doctoral student Rebecca Nevin.

Comerford added: "Fortunately, we happened to observe [J1354] at a time when we could clearly see evidence for both events."

So, why did this black hole get seconds after its dinner? The scientists point to a collision between J1354 and a neighboring galaxy. When they smashed together, chunks of matter flew towards J1354&mdashstraight towards the greedy black hole.

The discovery has implications for our own galaxy. The Milky Way's very own supermassive black hole is known to have feasted before. Just like J1354's, our greedy giant will likely binge, burp and sleep again.


Black Hole Burps Hot Plasma As It Devours A Star

Astronomers have seen a supermassive black hole give off a plasma burp while chowing down on a star, in an "extremely rare" event.

Scientists have watched black holes devouring stars that get too close to their gravitational pull before and they’ve seen jets of hot matter escaping their mouths before too, but this is the first time that the two events have been seen together so clearly.

An international team of astrophysicists reported the finding in Science, after tracking a star around the size of our Sun being sucked into the mouth of a supermassive black hole.

"These events are extremely rare," lead author Sjoert van Velzen of Johns Hopkins University said in a statement. "It's the first time we see everything from the stellar destruction followed by the launch of a conical outflow, also called a jet, and we watched it unfold over several months."

A sun-like star on an eccentric orbit plunges too close to its galaxy's central black hole. (Credit: . [+] NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab)

Researchers had already theorised that when a black hole eats a massive amount of gas – a star in other words – it would release a jet of elementary particles that would manage to escape from the event horizon. This study’s findings suggests the theory is correct.

"Previous efforts to find evidence for these jets, including my own, were late to the game," said Van Velzen.

When a team at Ohio State University reported that a star was being devoured by this particular black hole, which is around a million times the mass of our Sun, Van Velzen contacted a team of astrophysicists led by Rob Fender at the University of Oxford in the UK to start tracking the event. Using satellites and radio telescopes, the team watched the black hole destroying the star and emitting the jet through X-ray, radio and optical signals.

Because the galaxy is relatively close to ours, around 300 million light years away, the team were able to get a clearer picture than previous events that have been tracked, all of which were at least 900 million light years away.

"The destruction of a star by a black hole is beautifully complicated, and far from understood," van Velzen said. "From our observations, we learn the streams of stellar debris can organize and make a jet rather quickly, which is valuable input for constructing a complete theory of these events."


How Does a Black Hole Burp? Belching Supermassive Black Hole Has Big Implications for Physics

Last week, scientists presented an image of a supermassive black hole burping—twice. The behemoth had guzzled on gas before belching out a cloud of high energy particles and then settling in for a few thousand years’ nap. Then it woke up and did the whole thing again. Eat, sleep, repeat.

But why do black holes burp, and what can this tell scientists?

This image shows the two swirling clouds of 'burped' particles. J Comerford/ESA/NASA

High-energy particles

Intense gravitational and magnetic forces surround black holes. These can pull in large amounts of matter, creating a veil of dust and gas. As the greedy black hole feasts on this nearby gas, some is expelled in a powerful kind of burp. Each ‘burp’ is really an outflow of high-energy particles, which astronomers can observe using X-ray images.

Double belch

Scientists have seen black holes burp like this before. What’s special about this new image is the fact it reveals two belches. About 100,000 years after the first burp, the black hole, which sits in the J1354 galaxy 800 million light years away, spewed out a second.

This confirms that black holes can turn their power output on and off in a relatively short space of time. 100,000 years might seem long, but in cosmological terms it is minute, given that the universe itself began 13.8 billion years ago.

"We are seeing this object feast, burp, and nap, and then feast and burp once again, which theory had predicted," said Julie Comerford of the University of Colorado, who led the study, in a statement.

The information has big implications for physics. Repeated burps had been predicted, but this is the first time more than one has been observed from the same black hole.

By analyzing the area around the black hole, scientists were also able to narrow in on the cause of this second belch. The team of researchers believe that a nearby galaxy collision sent clumps of gas swirling towards the black hole. Just like its first meal, the black hole ate, belched and then napped.

A gassy Milky Way

Our own Milky Way galaxy, pictured, also contains a burping black hole. Stuart Rankin/NASA/Flickr

The research suggests that the supermassive black hole in our own galaxy could also burp repeatedly. It has belched at least once before, and is currently lying in wait of another big feast.

CU postdoctoral fellow Scott Barrows says: "Our galaxy's supermassive black hole is now napping after a big meal, just like J1354’s black hole has in the past. So we also expect our massive black hole to feast again, just as J1354's has."

This research was presented last week at the American Astronomical Society’s annual meeting in Washington, DC, and published in The Astrophysical Journal.


Black Holes Burp Big Bubbles

Like cosmic bubble makers,some black holes spew out behemoth blobs of hot gas into their home galaxies.

The bubbles ultimately pop,and their gassy contents keep both the black hole and its galaxy fromballooning to mega sizes, a new study finds.

The results apply toelliptical galaxies and their supermassiveblack holes, which can weigh as much as a billion suns or more. Our galaxy,the MilkyWay, is a spiral galaxy. And while it houses a supermassive black hole, theresearchers say the same process might not apply to it.

The researchers focused onthe supermassive black hole at the center of the elliptical galaxy M84, whichis about 55 million light-years from Earth. (A light-year is the distancelight will travel in a year, or about 6 trillion miles, or 10 trillion km.)They combined data collected by NASA?sChandra X-Ray Observatory and results from a black-hole computer simulation.

They noticed huge bubbles,or cavities, of hot plasma (ionized gas) rising up from the tips of the blackhole's pair of laser-like jets. (As material falls into the gravitationalclutches of a black hole, the energy can be spit out as jets of radiation andhigh-speed particles.) They estimate the bubbles are about 13,000 light-yearsacross and they are launched from jets about every 10 million years.

The X-ray images showedthat, like Russian dolls, each bubble has a smaller bubble tucked inside of itand so on. When the outer bubble bursts, spilling its gaseous guts, there'sanother inside waiting to pop as well. That continuous bubble-popping providesa constant input of heat into the surrounding interstellar gas.

"We think certain instabilitiesare formed on the interface between the bubble and the surrounding medium andthese instabilities shred and puncture this bubble, and the stuff that isinside them, this hot plasma, is spilling out and mixing with the surroundinggas," said researcher Mateusz Ruszkowski, an astronomer at the Universityof Michigan.

The jolts of heat stem thefood supply to the central black hole and slow down star formation nearby.

Over time, black holesgrow in heft as their gravity pulls in surrounding gases. Because cool gas isdenser, it sinks to the center of galaxies ? and toward the black hole ?faster. If the gas around the black hole is kept warm, it sinks toward theblack hole at a slower rate.

"In this way, you canfeed the black hole and add more and more mass to it," Ruszkowski told SPACE.com."If there's no mechanism to prevent the cooling that is essentiallytriggering this feeding process then the black hole would grow in anuncontrollable fashion."

But, he added, "nobodyin the field thinks this is happening," he said. The new results, which aredetailed in the Oct. 20 issue of Astrophysical Journal, reveal amechanism for continuous heating of the interstellar material, he said.

A similar mechanism keepsstar formation in check and in turn the mass of the home galaxy.

Stars are thought to form asdense clouds of gas and dust collapse under their gravity. Over time, thematerial heats up and ultimately the tight bundle becomes a full-fledged starpowered by thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen and other light elements in itscore.

The cooler the material, themore likely the clumps of gas and dust will succumb to the force of gravity andcollapse into luminous stars.