FEB 03, 2016 1:51 PM PST

Distant Supermassive Black Hole Expels Jet 3x Longer Than Milky Way

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Black holes continue to be one the most misunderstood objects in our universe, mostly because they’re difficult to spot. They’re invisible unless they’re sucking light in, or as recent theories would agree with, spitting light back out.
 
Despite the long-standing idea that nothing can escape a black hole, scientists are now opening up to the idea that black holes burp information all the time in the form of light gas jets, which are radioactive and are launched by way of powerful magnetic fields.
 
Some light jets are larger than others, especially the ones that are expelled from supermassive black holes. Scientists have just recently photographed a massive light jet more than 300,000 light years across that’s three times longer than our milky way galaxy as it was pushed from a supermassive black hole located over 500 million light years away from Earth in a galaxy known as Pictor A.
 
The photograph, which you can see below, shows the light jet passing through interstellar space and lighting up gas particles along the way. It was taken with NASA’s Chandra space telescope.
 

A supermassive black hole in the galaxy Pictor A emits a massive jet.


On the opposite (left) side, a fainter jet can also be seen, and it’s believed that tie light jet is fainter on the left side because it’s moving away from us rather than towards us. Twin lobes on either side of the jet source also indicate “hot gasses” due to radioactivity.
 
Light jets from black holes contain gamma rays and x-rays and are radioactive, so they can be monitored with telescopes in specific light spectrums or radio-sensitive equipment in space.
 
Without space telescopes, seeing these amazing works of nature wouldn’t be possible because our atmosphere blocks out many of the different kinds of light spectrums that can only be seen from space where a clear view is possible.

Source: BBC

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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