Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery concerning black holes: they can “burp” up remnants of stars they consumed years earlier. This observation challenges our previous understanding of how black holes interact with surrounding matter. The phenomenon was detected through radio light and seems to be a common yet previously overlooked phase of the tidal disruption event (TDE) evolution, wherein black holes capture and consume matter.
- After consuming stars, black holes have been observed emitting or “burping” out remnants of these stars years after the initial consumption.
- This unexpected behavior was discovered when black holes showed unexpected glowing in radio light, revealing patterns fueled by regurgitated star-stuff.
- The study led by Yvette Cendes from the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian found that late radio emission is a common phase in the evolution of TDEs.
- Through telescopes like the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the MeerKAT radio telescope, Cendes and her team observed that almost half of the black holes lit up with bright radio emission years after consuming a star.
- These findings challenge existing models and open new avenues in black hole research, with the potential to reveal unknown mechanisms through the next generation of sensitive telescopes.