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Earth-based telescope images freshly-launched black hole jet

5 Apr 2018, 13:58 UTC
Earth-based telescope images freshly-launched black hole jet
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NGC 1275 (also known as Perseus A or Caldwell 24) is located around 237 million light years away. Image credit: NASA
An international team of researchers from eight different countries has now made ultrahigh-angular-resolution images of the black hole jet in the centre of the giant galaxy NGC 1275, also known as radio source Perseus A or 3C 84. They were able to resolve the jet structure ten times closer to the black hole in NGC 1275 than what has been possible before with ground-based instruments – revealing unprecedented details of the jet formation region.
Black holes weighing as much as several billion times the mass of our Sun are found at the centres of all massive galaxies. It has been known for long that some of these massive black holes eject spectacular jets where plasma flows out at speed close to the speed of light from the vicinity of the black hole and which can extend far beyond the confines of their host galaxy. How these jets form in the first place is a long-standing mystery. One of the main difficulties in studying them has been astronomers’ inability to image the structure of the jets driven by the black ...

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