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Centaur A: The black hole fires giant flares into space

Centaur A: The black hole fires giant flares into space

For the first time, experts have made a high-resolution image of the center of the nearest Centaurus A radio galaxy, they report in “Nature’s Astronomy” magazine. With the help of the recording, they analyzed the directed plasma flow, the so-called jet, of the supermassive black hole there. Radio galaxies are galaxies with high radiation in the radio frequency range.

Most galaxies have a black hole at their center with a mass a million or even a billion times the mass of our sun. Objects attract matter from their environment by their gravitational force – but not everything falls into them. Collected by strong magnetic fields, part of the material is ejected in Poland A black hole in two high-energy plasma jets far out into space at high speed.

Centauri, located 15 million light-years away, is one of the brightest extragalactic objects in the sky. The team of Michael Janssen of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in bon It has now imaged aircraft in the center of the galaxy with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) with 16 times more resolution than ever before. What is remarkable for the researchers is that the jets emit radioactive radiation only at its edge, not from the inside. According to the scientists, this calls into question some of the previous physical models of matter beams.

The birth of a mighty plane

With the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), the merging of radio telescopes around the world, only recently has it been possible to glimpse the ocean of supermassive black holes. “This allows us for the first time to examine an extragalactic radio jet at scales smaller than the distance that light travels in a day,” Jansen says. “We see up close how a very massive jet is born, starting from a supermassive black hole.”

2 years ago EHT first time photo Of a supermassive black hole: An image taken from the center of galaxy M87 53.5 million light-years away showed the object’s so-called event horizon – the limit at which matter can only fall but not escape again.

The black hole is located at the center of the galaxy Centaurus A which is 13 million light-years away with a mass of 55 million solar masses between M87 with 6.5 billion solar masses and the center of our Milky Way galaxy with 4 million solar masses. “We are bridging the huge gap in the mass range between M87 and the galactic center,” Jansen and his team said.

According to experts, the Centaurus A jet fuselage, with the exception of its smaller size, fits well with that of the M87. More: Even the jets of matter for black holes that originated from stars are similar to those of supermassive black holes in galaxies like M87 and Centaurus A. Regardless of mass, very similar processes appear to occur in all black holes.

“The new results show that the Event Horizon Telescope is a treasure trove of data about the rich diversity of black holes,” explained Heino Falcke of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, one of the initiators of the EHT collaboration.