Contrary to the popular belief that black holes act as giant cosmic vacuum cleaners, new research shows black holes may be filling the universe with the chemical elements that make life possible. An international team of astronomers looking at the black hole at the center of the NGC 4051 galaxy (pictured) has discovered that warm gas can escape a black hole's gravity and blow elements such as carbon and oxygen into space. This research is being reported in the April 20 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. Read more at PhysOrg.com(1).
Credit: George Seitz/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF