Mysterious force destroys monster black hole’s ring of plasma

Telescopes all over the world watched a bright flash appear around a distant, supermassive black hole. And then, very quickly, it was gone.

The black hole — the heavy core of a galaxy named 1ES 1927+654 — was visible from Earth due to its corona, the ring of superheated particles whirling around its event horizon, or point of no return for infalling matter. There was nothing special about this state of affairs; all across space, astronomers can spot supermassive black holes thanks to their luminous coronas. And this corona was nestled inside a seemingly ordinary active galactic nucleus (AGN), or a larger region of dust, gas and star clusters.

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