As far as we know, a black hole is an area in space that exhibits such strong gravity that nothing can escape from inside it. Not even light or electromagnetic particles can get away from it’s pull.
Knowing this, it’s safe to assume that we’ve never observed anything coming out of one. That was true, until NASA saw something curious at the supermassive black hole Markarian 335.
Two of NASA’s space telescopes observed a black hole’s corona (a cluster of highly energetic particles that generate X-ray light) launch away from itself followed by a massive pulse of X-ray energy.
“This is the first time we have been able to link the launching of the corona to a flare. This will help us understand how supermassive black holes power some of the brightest objects in the universe.” – Dan Wilkins, of Saint Mary’s University
‘This will help us understand how supermassive black holes power some of the brightest objects in the universe.’ Not giving off any light themselves, supermassive black holes are often encircled by disks of hot, glowing material known as the corona. The gravity of a black hole pulls swirling gas into it, heating this material and causing it to shine with different types of light.
Astronomers have spotted black holes flare in the past, but what causes this to happen has long been a mystery. Now, researchers have found, for the first time, that a supermassive black hole’s flare was caused by the ejection of its corona.
The nature of the energetic source is “mysterious,” but data recorded during the event will provide precious insight about the black hole’s size and structure and functionality.