Gas surrounding a supermassive black hole spews out from above and below the disk like a three-dimensional fountain, new simulations have revealed.
While it’s long been assumed that the rings of gas around active black holes took on the shape of a donut, researchers say the reality is far more complex.
Simulations and observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (ALMA) suggest the ‘donut’ is actually a more dynamic structure made if three gaseous components that circulate constantly.
According to the team, it’s more of a three-step process. First, the cold gas forms a disk near the plane of rotation, heating up until the molecules break down. Some of these molecules are expelled above and below the disk. This falls back down to create a fountain-like structure read more