Black Holes Aren’t Holes – They’re Fountains

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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

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

In the new study, researchers at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) observed the supermassive black hole at the center of the Ciricinus galaxy, roughly 14 million light-years away.

They compared this with a simulation of gas falling toward a black hole, from the Cray XC30 ATERUI supercomputer.

Their findings challenge the conventional idea that matter falling into a black hole builds up around it to form a donut structure.

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. And, this then falls back down to create a fountain-like structure.

Gas surrounding a supermassive black hole spews out from above and below the disk like a three-dimensional fountain, new simulations have revealed. The distributions of CO molecular gas and C atomic gas are shown in orange and cyan 

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