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article imageSmall black hole creates massive 1,000 light-year hot gas bubble

By Andrew Moran     Jul 7, 2010 in Science
Paris - Astronomers have stumbled upon a small black hole that releases astronomical amounts of energy from powerful jets and are slamming into interstellar gas, which has created a large bubble of hot gas that reaches 1,000 light-years across.
According to the basic laws of quantum physics, nothing, including light, can escape from a black hole, which is, in laymen's terms, a vacuum cleaner. A surface of a black hole, where it is impossible to escape, is called an event horizon. Supermassive black holes have even been found in the center of galaxies.
Research scientists have found a small black hole that is capable of blowing out hot gas bubbles of approximately 1,000 light-years, reports Physorg. It occurs when microquasars release massive amounts of energy from powerful jets, which slam into interstellar gas, heat it and create hot bubbles of gas that stretches 1,000 light-years across.
Microquasars are black holes but are also identified as x-ray binaries and contain jets of high-speed elements.
It was discovered when the researchers used European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope.
“We have been astonished by how much energy is injected into the gas by the black hole,” said head author Manfred Pakull of the University of Strasbourg in France, reports Space. “This black hole is just a few solar masses, but is a real miniature version of the most powerful quasars and radio galaxies, which contain black holes with masses of a few million times that of the sun.”
The findings from this study are published in the Nature journal this week.
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