The material from this stream swirled into the centre of SDSS J1354+1327 and was ultimately eaten up by the supermassive black hole.
"Black holes are voracious eaters, but it also turns out they don't have very good table manners". Great plumes of gas, matter and radiation can be ejected by black holes, and in fact, scientists theorized that these "burps" ought to come at pretty quick intervals if a black hole is well fed. While even light can not escape the pull of one of these gravity wells, blacks holes do, very occasionally, "burp" back out chunks of half-consumed gas. Finally, scientists managed to use imagery from the Hubble and Chandra space telescopes to discover empirical proof of such a cycle taking place.
A rare supermassive black hole has been seen unleashing a huge "double burp" after feasting on stars, gas and planets from a nearby galaxy. Those two burps occurred between 100,000 years apart, and while that sounds huge, it's nothing when compared on cosmic scales.
In a new study, scientists have discovered a new type of big black hole that releases not one but two massive "burps". X-ray emission from the galaxy in question - called SDSS J1354+1327 - was picked up by the Chandra telescope, allowing researchers to pinpoint the location of its central black hole. They found that electrons had been stripped from atoms in the cone of gas and surmise that this was caused by a burst of radiation from the vicinity of the black hole.
It is quite common to see a black hole doing one burp, but extremely unusual to see it let rip twice in a row.
In the meantime, it had expanded 30,000 light-years away from the black hole itself. Dr. Comerford informed that the new burp was moving like a shock wave that was coming out very fast.
The observations are important because they support previous theories - not demonstrated until now - that black holes should go through these cycles.
Researchers noticed that a black hole had produced two "burping" events.
"We are seeing this object feast, burp, and nap, and then feast and burp once again, which theory had predicted", Julie Comerford of the University of Colorado, who led the study, was quoted in a statement. "That collision led gas to stream towards the supermassive black hole and feed it two separate meals that led to these two separate burps", said the University of Colorado researcher. With so much circling this particular galactic drain all at the same time, it does make sense that occasionally, bottlenecked gas gets bubbled back out, spreading forth out into the galaxy as if deliberately and triumphantly enjoying its second lease of life.