Originally posted on National Post | News:

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The European Space Agency has witnessed a super massive black hole at the centre of a galaxy “eat” a “low-mass” object (“low-mass” in this case being something between a Jupiter-sized planet and a brown-dwarf star), saying the giant stellar phenomenon “woke up” to gulp down the matter.

The big meal was noticed not in our cosmic back yard, but in a galaxy 47 million light years away called NGC 4845. NGC4845 wasn’t even under observation (the scientists felt it was actually kind of boring), when they noticed an X-ray flare-up while monitoring another galaxy.

“The observation was completely unexpected, from a galaxy that has been quiet for at least 20–30 years,” Marek Nikolajuk of the University of Bialystok, Poland, lead author of a paper on the black hole told the European Space Agency.

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The black hole in question, like many…

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