Professor James Miller-Jones, of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, said: "Like many black holes, it is feeding on a nearby star, pulling gas away from the star and forming a disk of material that encircles the black hole and spirals towards it under gravity".
The V404 Cygni black hole has been observed exhibiting one the effects of Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Scientist note that the closest areas of the disc are dense and hot and that as the black hole devours the star it shoots out powerful jets of plasma, presumably from its poles.
The global team of astronomers, which included Dr Alex Tetarenko working at the East Asian Observatory in Hilo, published their findings today in the journal Nature.
The movement appears to be triggered by a misalignment between the rotation of the black hole and the disc of material swirling around it. Well, black holes have incredibly strong gravitational fields, and gravity is just a warping of space and time.
What's more, the jets were changing direction rapidly, "on a time scale of minutes to hours", the scientists wrote in their study, published online today (April 29) in the journal Nature.
Using the Very Long Baseline Array-an intercontinental system of 10 radio telescopes operated from a center in Socorro, New Mexico-the team observed the jets at a high resolution, equivalent to seeing a quarter in NY from the distance of Los Angeles.
"Because the axis about which the black hole was spinning was not the same as the axis of the binary orbit, the puffed up disk was forced to wobble about the black hole spin axis like a spinning top that is slowing down", Miller-Jones said.
When Miller-Jones and his team studied the black hole, they saw its jets behaving in a way never seen before.
The black hole's gravitational pull along with a misaligned companion star is causing V404 Cygnic to drag in space itself.
Pictured is an artist's impression of V404 Cygni, with the nearby star seen to the left.
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"Everybody jumped on the outburst with whatever telescopes they could throw at it".
Orbit misalignment combined with a rapid wobble causes a "frame-dragging" effect where the material being pushed from the accretion disk can be seen changing direction. To get better images, they captured over 100 images with 70-second exposures and merged those images to create an animation.
Estimated to be 10 million km wide, V404 Cygni's accretion disk was picked up by a worldwide array of radio telescopes made up of 10 dishes in the Virgin Islands, Hawaii and the mainland United States. We believe that the precessing inner disk is responsible for redirecting the jets.
But for large black holes, like the supermassive objects at the cores of galaxies like the Milky Way, which weigh tens of millions if not billions of times the mass of a star, crossing the event horizon would be uneventful.
"So we have this wonderful observational coverage", he said.
This allowed us to make detailed images of the jets, zooming in to a region roughly the same size as our Solar System.
It's so fast that the usual method radio telescopes use for imaging space were practically useless.
What sets V404 Cygni apart from others is that its disk of material and black hole are misaligned.
'It was like trying to take a picture of a waterfall with a one-second shutter speed'. And thanks to relativity, the black hole is also dragging space-time around it, warping the disk.
Researchers initially thought the jets emitted from Cygni travelled in similar directions but upon closer inspection, determined this was not the case.