The team also discovered an unexpected characteristic of the system. The material accreting around the black hole is misaligned from the black hole’s rotation. And that’s where things get interesting. Supermassive black holes are so heavy that they don’t just bend space-time they also drag it as they rotate. This phenomenon, known as frame dragging, ends up breaking the disk into individual rings.
Collisions between these rings are not infrequent and when they happen, matter falls directly into the black hole instead of slowly spiraling down. This “direct” route forces materials to accelerate to the incredible velocity witnessed in this study. Researchers suggest that this chaotic accretion might be the norm rather than the exception and many black holes do it, especially the ones rotating more slowly.
By accreting gas from many directions, these black holes could increase their mass rapidly. This might potentially explain how the first black holes got so big so quickly in the early universe.