May 31, 2023

The black hole was captured as it emitted a powerful jet

Astronomers have recorded the moment when the black hole released a powerful jet of matter. This was the first time a direct photograph captured this phenomenon. The study has been published in the journal natureOn Wednesday the 26th.

Scientists believe the recorded black hole is M87*, located in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, 55 million light-years from Earth.

“We know that jets shoot out from the region around black holes, but in fact, we still don’t understand everything that’s going on,” said the study’s lead author, Ru-Sen Lu, a member of the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory. “To study it directly, we need to observe the origin of the jet as close as possible to the black hole.”

M87 Moment* launched a powerful material jet | Photo: R.-S. Lu (SHAO), E. Ros (MPIfR), S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

About the recorded black hole

It is possible to notice in the picture that the base of the jet is in contact with the matter that revolves around a large celestial body. The star is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun.

As cosmic matter orbits the black hole, it heats up and emits light, causing the celestial body to double in size and capture some of that light, creating a ring-shaped structure around itself.

The team plans to monitor the region at the center of M87* at different radio wavelengths to better understand the jet’s emissions.

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