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  Measuring a supermassive black hole's windFeb 19, 2015 10:51 PM PST | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:NASA just posted a new article describing how researchers using NASA and ESA X-ray telescopes have managed to confirm that particles of matter ejected from an black holes are thrown out in every direction; they were also able to measure the energy carried by these "winds" of hot particles, moving away from a black hole at relativistic speeds:
 
Supermassive black holes blast matter into their host galaxies, with X-ray-emitting winds traveling at up to one-third the speed of light. In the new study, astronomers determined PDS 456, an extremely bright black hole known as a quasar more than 2 billion light-years away, sustains winds that carry more energy every second than is emitted by more than a trillion suns.

These winds push other material approaching the black hole away, which is thought to cause such black holes to go through sometimes lengthy periods of inactivity once the winds die down, until material is able to drift back into the destructive, gravitationally warped zone just outside the event horizon. Our own galaxy's supermassive black hole Sgr A* is currently in such a funk, for instance—and thank goodness!
 
 
 
 
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