Old Cold Black Holes

News in from the CSIRO Australia. Astronomers have found evidence that black holes are capable of starving themselves by pushing away surrounding material, creating a field empty of star food.

Every black hole has a boundary called the ‘event horizon’ which acts like the point of no return. Nothing travels faster than light, however even light isn’t fast enough to escape if it crosses the event horizon.

As matter is pulled closer to the event horizon it falls into a swirling disk. So much friction is created between the particles that it causes them to heat up, sending powerful X-rays and gamma rays into surrounding space.

While watching a black hole in a galaxy 600 million light years away, astronomers noticed nearby matter was being swept away at speeds of over 1000 kilometres per second. One of the causes of this acceleration could be the radiation heating up the surrounding gases, causing it to rapidly spread out, away from the black hole.

Quiet black holes are common throughout the universe. With this new evidence it’s clear that for many of them, having fed so furiously means they’ve swept the pantry clean.



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