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NASA’s Chandra Identifies an Underachieving Black Hole

To reach this conclusion the team used Chandra to study the hot gas that H1821+643 and its host galaxy are shrouded in. The bright X-rays from the quasar, however, made it difficult to study the weaker X-rays from the hot gas. The researchers carefully removed the X-ray glare to reveal what the black hole’s influence is, which is reflected in the new composite image showing X-rays from hot gas in the cluster surrounding the quasar. This allowed them to see that the quasar is actually having little effect on its surroundings. Using Chandra, the team found that the density of gas near the black hole in the center of the galaxy is much higher, and the gas temperatures much lower, than in regions farther away. Scientists expect the hot gas to behave like this when there is little or no energy input (which would typically come from outbursts from a black hole) to prevent the hot gas from cooling down and flowing towards the center of the cluster. For more information, visit: