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Jet from Milky Way’s central black hole may be facing Earth

24 Jan 2019, 15:49 UTC
Jet from Milky Way’s central black hole may be facing Earth
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The top left frame shows a simulation of Sgr A* at a radio frequency of 86 GHz with no intervening gas and dust to scatter the light emitted by hot material near the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole. The top right frame is a simulated view including the effects of scattering with an actual view at lower right. The lower left image shows the result when scattering is removed. Image: S. Issaoun, M. Mościbrodzka, Radboud University/ M. D. Johnson, CfA
Intervening clouds of hot gas have long prevented astronomers from getting a clear look at the region around the supermassive black hole near the core of the Milky Way. But now, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in concert with other radio telescopes around the world, researchers have seen signs of what may be a jet coincidentally aimed almost directly at Earth.
Using very long baseline interferometry, which combines data from many instruments to form a virtual telescope the size of Earth, the researchers were able to map the properties of the light scattering that prevents a sharp view of the black hole, known as Sgr A*. Subtracting those scattering effects has allowed them to produce the first image of ...

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