The black hole that sits at the heart of the M87 galaxy has been spewing a stream of particles that mysteriously grew so bright that their radiance outshone the galaxy itself.
A study published this month in Astronomical Journal explains that researchers were watching the black hole for 7 years, and discovered that it grew 90 times brighter during that time for reasons that they can't explain. In the image above, you can see the M87 galaxy in the lower left. The light in the center of the images is the black hole's stream of particles, which as you can see gets brighter and brighter over time.
Astronomers aren't sure if this is normal behavior for a black hole, or if something really weird is going on in M87. Perhaps the black hole is eating the entire galaxy and spitting it out again?
Image via NASA, ESA, and J. Madrid (McMaster University)