Monster Black Hole Burp Startles Scientists - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Monster Black Hole Burp Startles Scientists

Posted: Updated:

YAHOO.COM - 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 — the explosive end of a star —  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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Fatal Crash Early Friday Morning On S. Bowdish Rd.

    Fatal Crash Early Friday Morning On S. Bowdish Rd.

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-04-18 14:11:50 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just before 12:30 early Friday morning a man was killed after a crashing his car on S. Bowdish Rd. The man was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home. The man killed was in his 30's but authorities are not identifying him until his family has been notified.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just before 12:30 early Friday morning a man was killed after a crashing his car on S. Bowdish Rd. The man was traveling South on Bowdish near 17th when he lost control of his car, uprooting a tree in the front yard of a home. The man killed was in his 30's but authorities are not identifying him until his family has been notified.
    >>
  • LOOK: Latest Photos Of Sex Offenders Living In Our Area

    LOOK: Latest Photos Of Sex Offenders Living In Our Area

    Saturday, February 15 2014 12:56 AM EST2014-02-15 05:56:26 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Do you know if there are sex offenders living near you? Spokane County Sheriff's Office have a website where you can check if there are sex offenders in your area. Here are all of the registered sex offenders with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.>>
    KHQ.COM - Do you know if there are sex offenders living near you? Spokane County Sheriff's Office have a website where you can check if there are sex offenders in your area. Here are all of the registered sex offenders with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. LOOK AT ALL OF THE PHOTOS INSIDE OF THE STORY>>>>>
  • 3rd N. Spokane Fast Food Robbery In Three Days

    3rd N. Spokane Fast Food Robbery In Three Days

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:15 AM EDT2014-04-18 05:15:21 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days. The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days. The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave.>>