Black Holes on a Diet

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,810
    Supermassive black holes take in much less gas than scientists expected.

     

    Researchers say they now know why supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, or simply SMBH’s, have such low accretion rates--meaning they take in very little of the cosmic gases surrounding them.  Scientists used the Chandra X-ray Space Telescope to look at the closest SMBH to us, Sagittarius A, and found that it ejects 99% of the gas it takes it because it is too hot.  Winds from massive stars nearby heat up the cosmic gases making these hotter gases more difficult for the black hole to pull in.