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Aug 22, 2020

Spinning black hole powers jet by magnetic flux

Posted by in category: cosmology

Black holes are at the center of almost all galaxies that have been studied so far. They have an unimaginably large mass and therefore attract matter, gas and even light. But they can also emit matter in the form of plasma jets—a kind of plasma beam that is ejected from the center of the galaxy with tremendous energy. A plasma jet can extend several hundred thousand light years far into space.

When this intense radiation is emitted, the black hole remains hidden because the light rays near it are strongly bent leading to the appearance of a shadow. This was recently reported by researchers of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration for the in the giant ellipse galaxy M87.

In quasar 3C279—also a black hole—the EHT team found another phenomenon: At a distance of more than a thousand times the shadow of the black hole, the core of a suddenly lit up. How the energy for this jet could get there as if through an invisible chimney was not yet known.

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