Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Astronomers Discover Gigantic Jet Of Particles Coming From A Supermassive Black Hole

By using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, few astronomers have evidence for an extraordinarily long jet of particles which come from a supermassive black hole. According to NASA, if this is confirmed then this will be considered as the ‘most distant supermassive black hole with a jet detected’ in X-rays. The jet which comes from 12.7 billion light-years from Earth may contribute in explaining the formation of the big black holes in the universe’s history. 

Thomas Connor of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, who led the study said, “If a playground merry-go-round is moving too fast, it’s hard for a child to move towards the center, so someone or something needs to slow the ride down”. He added, “Around supermassive black holes, we think jets can take enough energy away so material can fall inward and the black hole can grow”.


All that you need to know 

NASA explains that the source of the jet is a quasar, which is a rapidly growing supermassive black hole. It is considered as one of the two most powerful quasars detected in radio waves in the first billion years after the big bang. Also, it is a billion times bigger than the sun. A black hole does not pull in everything that comes close to them. Material orbiting around a black hole in a disk needs to lose speed and energy. This should be done before it can fall further inwards.  

Co-author Eduardo Bañados of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany said, “The length of this jet is significant because it means that the supermassive black hole powering it has been growing for a considerable period of time”. He added, “This result underscores how X-ray studies of distant quasars provide a critical way to study the growth of the most distant supermassive black holes”. The light which comes from this jet was emitted when the universe was only 0.98 billion years old. During this time, the intensity of the cosmic microwave background radiation from the big bang was much greater than compared to today.


(Image Credits: RepresentativeImage/Unsplash/@madhatter_granne

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