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Feeding Time

19 January 2019

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/afot-tau011419.php … supermassive black holes are, well, super massive. They are thought to exist at the heart of all galaxies – but how do they grow into supermassive entities. What are they feeding on? It is thought they are constantly gobbling up cosmic gas and some are thought to consume whole stars. A new study at Tel Aviv University in Nature Astronomy (January 2019) claims some supermassive black holes are triggered (set in motion) – suddenly devouring huge amounts of gas. Back in 2017 we were told a black hole was swallowing a star because the radiation it emitted around the black hole grew by more than 50 times in brightness than it had somewhat earlier, in 2004. Telescopes around the world zoomed in on the star swallowing event and it was then decided it was a tidal disruption event (and no star had been eaten). However, there was also something else going on that did not ring true, according to the researchers. After long observation they decided it was gases that were being consumed.

See also https://phys.org/print466857224.html … a black hole in our galaxy spinning rapidly around itself. This comes from the Astrophysical Journal (funded by the Royal Society but originating at Southampton Unijversity).

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