Supermassive black holes at the cores of galaxies blast out radiation and ultra-fast winds, as illustrated in this artist's conception.
JPL-Caltech/NASA
By Noah Rayman
February 19, 2015

Researchers say that new data from a black hole 2 billion light years away indicate that it emits powerful winds in all directions that help to regulate its growth as well as the growth of the galaxy around it.

The research, based on observations from a NASA and a European Space Agency space telescope, was published in the latest issue of the journal Science. NASA released an artist’s conception of the radiation and winds emitted by a black hole.

The study found that the black hole, labelled PDS 456, sustains winds blowing up to a third the speed of light that carry more energy per second than the amount emitted by a trillion suns. These winds, produced as the black hole sucks in matter, push gas outward and thereby help restrict both the growth of the black hole and the formation of stars in the galaxy.

 

 

Write to Noah Rayman at noah.rayman@time.com.

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