comScore NASA Finds Black Holes Surrounded by Clumpy Space Doughnuts | The Mary Sue
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NASA Finds That Black Holes Are Apparently Surrounded by Cloudy, Clumpy Space Doughnuts

NASA’s been busy lately, what with the gearing up for Mars exploration and such. But they’ve all also still had time to discover brand new things about the brave new frontier that is the entire universe, and guess what they’ve found this time? That’s right. Clumpy space doughnuts. Oh, yeah.

That’s what they officially called the clouds of dust and gas that surround black holes. Up until recently, it was incredibly difficult to see into those “doughnuts,” but that’s all changed now with NASA’s new Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. When used in tandem with the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton space observatory, scientists were finally able to get a new look at these cosmic doughnuts.

Turns out, they’re not perfectly rounded like your typical glazed or cake-y doughnuts. No, they’re actually clumpy and lumpy, kind of like an old fashioned doughnut or even an apple fritter with a hole in it.

Scientists are trying to better understand why it’s easier to peer into some supermassive black holes than others. Learning about this is an important step towards understanding how black holes grow and evolve, and what kinds of effects this growth has on the galaxies in which they exist.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I really want a freaking doughnut. Black hole old fashioned, please. Thanks.

(via NASA JPL News)

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