By Definition
High Definition
Standard Definition
By Length
Full (4-12 min)
Short (1-4 min)
By Date
2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 |
2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 |
2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
By Category
Solar System
White Dwarfs
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Groups of Galaxies
Cosmology/Deep Field
Space Scoop for Kids!
Chandra Sketches
Quick Look
How To
Apple iTunes
RSS Reader
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Recent Podcast
A Quick Look at Abell 1033
A Quick Look at Abell 1033
Hidden in a distant galaxy cluster collision are wisps of gas resembling the starship Enterprise, an iconic spaceship from the "Star Trek" franchise. (2018-11-15)

A Tour of SDSS J1354+1327

Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): Astronomers have caught a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy snacking on gas and then "burping" — not once, but twice.

The dining galaxy is known by its abbreviated name, J1354, and is about 800 million light years from Earth. Scientists used observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope, as well as the ground-based optical telescopes to track both the behavior and diet of this monster-sized black hole.

The Chandra data revealed a bright, point-like source of X-ray emission at the center of J1354, a telltale sign of the presence of a black hole containing millions or billions of times more mass than our sun. The X-ray data also provide evidence that the supermassive black hole is embedded in a heavy veil of gas.

The researchers found evidence that in the past the supermassive black hole consumed large amounts of gas while blasting off an outflow of high-energy particles. Eventually, this outflow turned off, and then turned back on with another black hole snack about 100,000 later.

Where did the black hole get its two-course meal? The data point to the cosmic crumbs left behind from a collision with another galaxy long ago. This collision left a clumpy stream of gas and dust strewn between the two galaxies. As clumps from this stream wandered too close, they were consumed by the supermassive black hole.

Scientists think our Milky Way's own black hole has experienced at least one similar burp of its own. By understanding how a black hole like J1354 feeds, astronomers are hoping to learn more about supermassive black holes and how they grow both near and far.

Return to Podcasts