Supermassive Black Hole at Center of Galaxy NGC 5548 Emitting Unusual Stream of Gas

Scientists using NASA and European Space Agency space telescopes noticed a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy was releasing an ionized stream of gas at high speed.

As per researchers, this odd observation may help them offer clues about how cosmic objects interact with the galaxies within which they live. Scientists have been observing the galaxy for a long time now.

But it was all of a sudden dimming at the galaxy's center that indicated researchers that it might be the first hint of a shielding effect. The effect permits powerful gas winds to move at high speed out of a black hole.

Research team member Gerard Kriss of the Space Telescope Science Institute was of the view that in comparison to the last observation made with Hubble in 2011, the galaxy has witnessed dramatic changes.

Kriss said they have been talking about the galaxy NGC 5548. He said there are other galaxies as well where streams of gas flow outwards from the direction of its central black hole. But they have not seen a stream of gas changing its position as dramatically as the galaxy NGC 5548. The wind was quite powerful than normally seen.

"These new winds reach speeds of up to 3,107 miles per second, but is much closer to the galaxy nucleus than the persistent wind", said Jelle Kaastra. The new gas flow blocked 90% of the low-energy X-rays coming from very close to the black hole. The gas was found to stop around 33% of the region emitting the ultraviolet radiation.