Did you know that black holes can burp? According to the world’s leading space agency, they can. They can also scream, kiss, and smile.
NASA’s Chandra observatory has spotted a nearby supermassive black hole producing “violent outbursts” of gas, 26 million lightyears from Earth. “For an analogy, astronomers often refer to black holes as ‘eating’ stars and gas,” said Eric Schlegel, the lead author of the study detailing the discovery, in a Jan. 5 press release.
“Apparently, black holes can also burp after their meal,” he noted.
The researchers detected two arcs of emitted X-rays that they believe are the ancient remnants of these “burps.” After the black hole belched, hot gas emissions then “snow-plowed” over cooler hydrogen gas at the center of the galaxy, which may have triggered the creation of new stars.
It’s not the first time NASA has described space phenomena as body functions. In 2013, the Hubble telescope observed a star in the throes of what scientists described as a “sneezing fit.” Galaxy clusters have smiled. Stars have kissed. Zombie stars have screamed.Read More: Quartz