Back in 2019, there’s been a global collaboration of experts that made history by revealing the very first direct image of a black hole.
Now, there’s an extraordinary follow-up: it’s the closest-ever look at a violent jet that’s been shot by a supermassive black hole.
Science alert just revealed that this supermassive black hole is located at the heart of a quasar 5 billion light-years away from Earth: meet the extremely luminous 3C 279.
A quasar is among the brightest cosmic objects that are known today – the entities are galaxies with enormous black holes that are spitting intense radiations such as gas towards the event horizon.
These results mentioned above come from the every same observation run that yielded the historic black hole image that’s been conducted by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team in April 2017.3C 279 was one of the four secondary objects in the run.
The team of experts revealed a surprising discovery
It’s already a known fact that when matter is falling into a hungry black hole, there’s a fraction of the material that’s surrounding gas and dust which gets accelerated at almost the speed of light.
This results in the fact that the black hole is spewing forth relativistic jets of the fastest-traveling particles in the known Universe.
“It’s one of these bursting jets that the EHT team has now resolved in unprecedented detail, tracing it all the way down to the accretion disk of the black hole in 3C 279. It might look somewhat blurry to us, but there’s a wealth of information in the data,” the online publication mentioned above notes.
The team of experts revealed a surprising issue: the jet is supposed to be straight, but the data revealed that it’s bent at the base and also has an elongated structure that’s perpendicular to the direction of the jet.
“This morphology can be interpreted as either a broad resolved jet base or a spatially bent jet,” the team posted in the paper.