Source of Monster Black Hole’s Energy Jet Identified
A peek at swirling matter around a giant black hole verifies that it is the source of a monstrous blast of energy thousands of light-years long, researchers say. Bursts of energy known as relativistic jets spew out matter at close to the speed of light. These jets can travel across an entire galaxy, suggesting they can affect the evolution of the galaxy.
“For a long time, astronomers have theorized that black holes and the matter swirling around them were responsible for the jets we see in some galaxies, but we’ve never had a telescope with the resolving power to verify this,”said study lead author Sheperd Doeleman, an astronomer at MIT’s Haystack Observatory in Westford, Mass. Now, “by making a virtual Earth-sized telescope that links radio dishes from Hawaii to California, we were able to achieve the necessary magnification power,” Doeleman said.