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+ - Unexpected Behavior at the Nucleus of Supermassive Black Hole->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: An international team of astronomers, using data from several NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) space observatories, has discovered unexpected behavior from the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548, located 244.6 million light-years from Earth. This behavior may provide new insights into how supermassive black holes interact with their host galaxies

A stream of gas flowing rapidly outward from the galaxy's supermassive black hole, blocking 90 percent of its emitted X-rays

The discovery was made during an intensive observing campaign that also included data from NASA's Swift spacecraft, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and Chandra X-ray Observatory, as well as ESA's X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton) and Integral gamma-ray observatory (INTEGRAL)

Supermassive black holes in the nuclei of active galaxies, such as NGC 5548, expel large amounts of matter through powerful winds of ionized gas. For instance, the persistent wind of NGC 5548 reaches velocities exceeding 621 miles (approximately 1,000 kilometers) a second

A new wind has arisen, much stronger and faster than the persistent wind. These new winds reach speeds of up to 3,107 miles (5,000 kilometers) per second, but is much closer to the nucleus than the persistent wind

The new gas outflow blocks 90 percent of the low-energy X-rays that come from very close to the black hole, and it obscures up to a third of the region that emits the ultraviolet radiation at a few light-days distance from the black hole

Researchers also deduced that in more luminous quasars, the winds may be strong enough to blow off gas that otherwise would have become "food" for the black hole, thereby regulating both the growth of the black hole and that of its host galaxy
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Unexpected Behavior at the Nucleus of Supermassive Black Hole

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