Why the Quasar Jets Are So Strong: Astronomers Explain

QUASAR jets explained

More than 700 quasars have been examined, using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, the NFS’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, Germany’s ROentgen SATellite (ROSAT), and ESA’s XMM-Newton.

Astronomers’ main goal was to determine why those quasars – quickly growing supermassive black holes – launch powerful jets. Such streams can shoot massive amounts of energy into their surroundings and significantly trigger their environments’ development.

A recent study tries to explain such a phenomenon. Here is what you need to know.

Why So Many Jets?

The team of astronomers that realized the investigation and made quite the discovery release a few statements. According to the study, a determining factor is something called a black hole corona threaded by magnetic fields. 

Apparently, if a black hole corona doesn’t have bright X-rays, the powerful jets can’t be launched. 

The so-called corona is associated with the outer atmosphere of the Sun. However, the black hole coronas are just some hot gas areas over and below a much thicker disk of matter whirling around the gravitational sinkhole.

The Team’s Findings

The team has examined the quasars that have jets. Astronomers determined that the X-ray emission in jet-launching quasars is made by a black hole corona. For the team, this was a surprise.

“The finding that the X-rays in quasars with jets comes from a black hole corona, rather than from the jets, […], provide new insight into the physics of these jets,” stated Guang Yang, the co-author of the study. 

The results are the same as those from stellar-mass black holes that are less than a hundred times the mass of the Sun. Such a thing supports the concept that the two different types of black holes might be somehow similar in terms of their behavior even if they have different sizes. 

Moreover, the team’s sample includes 729 quasars with jets. ROSAT, Chandra, and XMM-Newton were utilized for 239, 212, and 278 quasars. 

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