The European Space Observatory released on Wednesday the most detailed data ever of dust around a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy.
Scientists expected to find a ring of cosmic dust around the black hole, but were surprised to also find dust above and below the ring, they said in a statement.
The discovery changes researchers understanding of how black holes form.
The ring of hot dust that wraps itself around the centre of the black hole is drawn in from surrounding space. This is traditionally how scientists thought black holes grow. The newly-found dust, however, creates cool wind that is being pushed out from black hole.
“It is still unclear how these two processes work together and allow supermassive black holes to grow and evolve within galaxies, but the presence of a dusty wind adds a new piece to this picture,” researchers conclude.
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