A black hole has been discovered that attacks a neighboring galaxy with a relativistic jet

(ORDO NEWS) — A black hole from the center of a distant galaxy ejects a long jet of plasma, accelerated almost to the speed of light.

This stream stretched for almost half a million light-years and reaches the neighboring galaxy. Until now, astronomers have not observed anything like this.

The galaxy pair RAD12 and RAD12-B are about a billion light years away and are in the process of merging with each other.

Located in the active center of RAD12, a supermassive black hole ejects a narrow stream of plasma accelerated to near-light speeds.

The strength of this jet is so great that it breaks out of the parent galaxy and reaches the neighboring RAD12-B.

The interaction of the magnetic fields of a black hole with the surrounding matter causes the appearance of relativistic jets – narrow jets of plasma flying at speeds comparable to the speed of light.

As a rule, jets appear in pairs, “shooting” from the poles of the magnetic field in opposite directions. They carry gas and dust away from the parent galaxy, which can lead to the cessation of star formation in it.

However, in the elliptical galaxy RAD12, only one jet can be seen, although the reason for this is unknown.

For the first time, such a strange feature was noticed back in 2013, in data that were collected in the optical range during the SDSS survey, as well as in radio waves – by the VLA FIRST survey.

These observations have been confirmed with new observations made by the Indian radio telescope GMRT. Simple astronomy enthusiasts also participated in data processing, who joined the “citizen science” project [email protected]

The work showed that the black hole at the center of RAD12 is ejecting a single relativistic plasma jet. In addition, it was possible to show that the jet continues far beyond the visible part of the parent galaxy, reaching about 440 thousand light-years in length – up to the neighboring nearby galaxy RAD12-B.

The authors of the work emphasize that nothing like this could be observed before.


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