Scientists Find Black Holes Really Look Like ‘Cosmic Fountains’

Black Holes are more like cosmic fountains.

A new simulation that aims to understand how Black Holes function and what they look like has found that gas surrounding supermassive black holes is spewed from above and below the disk as if it were a three-dimensional fountain.

Long have astronomers assumed that the rings of gas around black holes actively formed donut-shaped structures. However, researchers now say the reality of black holes is far more complex.

Thanks to observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (ALMA), and eventual computer simulations, it is believed that the donut is actually a more dynamic structure if three gaseous components circulate the black hole constantly.

Astrophysicists at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) observed the super-massive black hole located at the center of the Ciricinus galaxy, and then compared the data with computer simulations. Image Credit: Wada et al.
Astrophysicists at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) observed the super-massive black hole located at the center of the Circinus galaxy and then compared the data with computer simulations. Image Credit: Wada et al.

According to scientists from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), they observed a supermassive black hole located at the center of the Circinus galaxy, located around 14 million light-years away.

Using the Cray XC30 ATERUI supercomputer they compared the data with simulations of gas falling toward the black hole.

They discovered something that challenges the conventional idea that matter from outside the black hole falls inside it and builds around it forming a donut-shaped cosmic structure.

The magenta spots in this image show two black holes in the Circinus galaxy: the supermassive black hole at its heart, and a smaller one closer to the edge that belongs to a class called ultraluminous X-ray sources, or ULXs. The magenta X-ray data come from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescopic Array, and are overlaid on a visible/infrared image from the Digitized Sky Survey. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The magenta spots in this image show two black holes in the Circinus galaxy: the supermassive black hole at its heart, and a smaller one closer to the edge that belongs to a class called ultraluminous X-ray sources, or ULXs. The magenta X-ray data come from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescopic Array and are overlaid on a visible/infrared image from the Digitized Sky Survey. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The group of researchers explains that it is more complex than that, and more like a three-step process.

According to sinceitsts, the first of all, the fas forms a disc near the plane of rotation. It continues heating up until molecules end up breaking down.

Then, some of the superheated molecules are expelled above and below the disk. Eventually, this ends up falling back down, forming a fountain-like cosmic structure.

Keiichi Wada, a theoretician at Kagoshima University in Japan explains that “Previous theoretical models set prior assumptions of rigid donuts.”

“Rather than starting from assumptions, our simulation started from the physical equations and showed for the first time that the gas circulation naturally forms a donut. Our simulation can also explain various observational features of the system,” he added.

 

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