Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, Black Holes, Galaxies, General Astronomy > Super-Massive Black Hole Inflates Giant Bubble

Super-Massive Black Hole Inflates Giant Bubble


This false colour image shows the galaxy M87. Optical light is shown in white/blue (Credits: SDSS), the radio emission in yellow/orange (LOFAR). Credits: Francesco de Gasperin, on behalf of the LOFAR collaboration.

Using a brand-new radio telescope, astronomers have produced one of the best images ever made at the lowest frequencies of giant bubbles produced by a super-massive black hole. The observations were performed at frequencies ranging from 20 to 160 MHz which are normally used for communications by airplane pilots. The picture shows what looks like a giant balloon filled with radio emitting plasma, which exceeds the size of an entire galaxy.

Some black holes actively accrete matter. Part of this material does not fall into the black hole but is ejected in a narrow stream of particles, traveling at nearly the speed of light. When the stream slows down, it creates a tenuous balloon that can engulf the entire galaxy.

“The result is of great importance”, says Francesco de Gasperin, lead author of the study that will be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. “It shows the enormous potential of LOFAR, and provides compelling evidence of the close ties between black hole, host galaxy, and their surroundings. Like symbiotic species” adds de Gasperin, “a galaxy and its central black hole lead intimately connected lives, the galaxy providing matter to feed the black hole, and the black hole returning energy to the galaxy”.

Full Story: http://www.astron.nl/about-astron/press-public/news/super-massive-black-hole-inflates-giant-bubble/super-massive-black-ho

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