NASA’s Chandra X-ray has identified a black hole that has very little impact on the surrounding environment.

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NASA's Chandra X-ray has identified a black hole that has very little impact on the surrounding environment.

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has unveiled the underperformance of a black hole, contrary to astronomers’ expectations. Dubbed H1821+643, this quasar, a rapidly growing supermassive black hole located approximately 3.4 billion light-years away from Earth, exhibits characteristics that challenge conventional understanding.


Quasars, distinguished by their vigorous material consumption and consequent radiation emissions, typically wield significant influence over their host galaxies. However, H1821+643 defies this norm, as evidenced by data from Chandra and the NSF’s Karl G. Jansky’s Very Large Array.Unlike non-quasar black holes, which moderate star growth in their vicinity by regulating intergalactic hot gas temperature, quasars like H1821+643 manifest a lesser impact. Despite their heightened activity, quasars may play a diminished role in steering the fate of their host galaxies and clusters.


Through meticulous analysis facilitated by Chandra, researchers dissected the interplay between H1821+643 and its surrounding hot gas. Despite the formidable X-ray emissions from the quasar, researchers managed to discern its minimal influence, reflected in a composite image revealing the hot gas distribution in the cluster. Key findings include the elevated gas density and lower temperatures near the black hole, a departure from the expected energy dynamics typically associated with black hole outbursts. These revelations challenge existing paradigms and shed light on the complex interrelations within galactic ecosystems.


Published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the study boasts a collaborative effort led by prominent researchers such as Helen Russell, Paul Nulsen, and Andy Fabian. Managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Chandra program continues to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos from its base in Cambridge, Massachusetts.The implications of this discovery extend far beyond the confines of our understanding, urging a reevaluation of the role of quasars in shaping the cosmic landscape. As humanity delves deeper into the enigmatic realm of black holes, each revelation brings us closer to unraveling the universe’s most profound secrets.

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