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Sat Dec 8, 2018, 06:29 PM

Astronomers Think They've Figured Out the Raging Swirls of Gas Around Supermassive Black Holes


By Rafi Letzter, Live Science Staff Writer | December 7, 2018 11:28am ET

There are churning, hellish, hot-and-cold gas storms swirling around our universe's supermassive black holes. But the scientists who discovered them would prefer you call them "fountains."

That's a change from "donuts," the term researchers previously used to describe the roiling masses. But a paper published Oct. 30 in The Astrophysical Journal reveals that the donut model of the mass around black holes may have been too simplistic.

About two decades ago, researchers noticed that the monster black holes at the centers of galaxies tended to be obscured by clouds of matter matter that wasn't falling into the black holes but rather circulating nearby. But astronomers couldn't get a clear look at those clouds. They were able to simulate the currents around black holes, though, as in this example published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters in 2002, and they concluded that those clouds were donut-shaped gas falling toward the black hole, getting heated up by proximity and bouncing away, only to fall back toward it again.[What's That? Your Physics Questions Answered]

But there are better telescopes now, producing better images of those clouds. And it turns out that the situation is a lot more complicated than previously thought.

More:
https://www.space.com/42661-black-hole-fountain.html

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Reply Astronomers Think They've Figured Out the Raging Swirls of Gas Around Supermassive Black Holes (Original post)
Judi Lynn Saturday OP
PJMcK Saturday #1
Ferrets are Cool Saturday #2
lastlib Saturday #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2018, 06:37 PM

1. Fascinating stuff!

Thanks, Judi Lynn. You often highlight wonderfully interesting items.

This article and the research it's reporting, still makes it clear that I don't want to get anywhere near a black hole.

There's an odd paragraph in the article:

It turns out that, more than anything else, the clouds of matter around black holes more closely resemble fountains like this one, with rings of arching water surrounding inner columns of matter shooting straight into the air.


The fountain analogy collapses when the author writes, "...matter shooting into the air." There's no water or air around a black hole for matter to shoot into. Conversely, in a water fountain, there isn't any matter shooting into the air in the manner the author wrote.

I know I'm picking nits.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2018, 06:41 PM

2. Turns out that black holes are alien abstract art pieces. nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2018, 07:15 PM

3. "Raging Swirls of Gas Around Supermassive Black Holes"

sounds like a description of a tRump tantrum..........

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