Commonly held belief and scientific proof holds true that black holes suck matter in rather than spewing them out. But NASA has just found some curious evidence around a supermassive black hole named Markarian 335.
Two of NASA’s telescopes, including the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), observed what is believed to be a black hole’s corona launching away from the supermassive black hole. That event was then followed by a large pulse of X-Ray energy.
This is the first time we have been able to link the launching of the corona to a flare,” Dan Wilkins, of Saint Mary’s University, said. “This will help us understand how supermassive black holes power some of the brightest objects in the universe.
Fiona Harrison, the chief investigator at NuSTAR, admits that the energy source is “mysterious”. According to Fiona, the ability to record the event would in theory be able to provide clues about the black hole’s (Markarian 335) size and structure as well as information as to the nature of black holes.
Markarian 335 is 324 million light-years away from Earth.
This diagram shows how a shifting feature, called a corona, can create a flare of X-rays around a black hole. The corona (feature represented in purplish colors) gathers inward (left), becoming brighter, before shooting away from the black hole (middle and right). Astronomers don’t know why the coronas shift, but they have learned that this process leads to a brightening of X-ray light that can be observed by telescopes.