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Scientists Discover Black Hole Has Three Hot Meals a Day

https://chandra.cfa.harvard.edu/photo/2019/gsn069/


  • Evidence for a supermassive black hole consuming large amounts of material about three times a day has been found.
  • The data come from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton taken over the span of 54 days beginning in late 2018.
  • The orbiting X-ray telescopes detected regular outbursts from the black hole at the center of the galaxy called GSN 069.
  • Astronomers estimate that each “meal” contains the mass about four times that of the Moon.

supermassive black hole is blasting out X-rays about every nine hours, according to data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton, as described in our latest press release. This indicates that this black hole, containing about 400,000 times the mass of our Sun, is consuming significant amounts of material about three times per day.

The main panel of this graphic is a visible light image taken by the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) around the galaxy known as GSN 069, located in the center of the image. The inset gives a time-lapse of Chandra data taken over a period of about 20 hours on February 14 and 15, 2019, centered on the X-ray source in the middle of GSN 069. The sequence runs in a loop to show that the X-ray brightness of the source changes regularly and dramatically over the Chandra observation. Three X-ray eruptions are observed. (Note that to clearly show the Chandra source is located in GSN 069, the size of the box in the center of the DSS image is about ten times larger than the Chandra field in the inset.)

XMM-Newton was the first to observe this 


posted Sep 12, 2019, 7:06 AM by Shifu RC



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