Relativistic radio jets in the distant galaxy Cup confirmed the theory of scientists

An international team of scientists led by researcher Anelis Odibert has discovered the perfect specimen for

studying the interaction of a radio jet with a coldgas around a massive quasar - an object in the Teacup galaxy (English Cup), also known as Teacup AGN or SDSS J1430 + 1339, is a type II quasar with a small redshift. Its extended loop of ionized gas resembles the handle of a teacup. The galaxy was discovered by volunteers of the Galaxy Zoo project.

The teacup is a radio-quiet quasarlocated 1.3 billion light years from Earth. In its central region (about 3,300 light-years in size) there is a compact and young radio jet, which is distinguished by a slight inclination with respect to the disk of the galaxy.

Teacup Galaxy. Credit: NASA, ESA, W. Keel (University of Alabama), and the Galaxy Zoo Team

Using observations made in the Chileandesert using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have characterized the cold, dense gas in the galaxy's central region with an unprecedented level of detail. In particular, they discovered the emission of carbon monoxide molecules, which can only exist under certain conditions of density and temperature. Based on these observations, the scientists found that the compact jet, despite its low power, not only clearly disturbs the distribution of the gas and heats it up, but also accelerates it in an unusual way. Surprisingly, less powerful jets, such as those born in "radio-quiet" galaxies, can do more harm to the environment than very strong ones.

Compact radio jet at the center of the Tea Room galaxythe cup is blown by a sideways turbulent wind in a cold dense gas, as predicted by the simulations. Credit & Copyright: HST/ALMA/VLA/M. Meenakshi / D. Mukherjee / A. Audibert

When matter hits supermassive blackholes in the centers of galaxies, it releases a huge amount of energy - this is how active galactic nuclei (or AGNs) appear. Part of the AGN releases some of this energy in the form of jets that can be detected in the radio range and which move at speeds close to the speed of light - radio jets. As they move through the galaxy, the jets collide with the clouds and gas around them. In some cases, they repel material in the form of wind. However, what conditions these winds preferentially cause to blow gas out of galaxies is still poorly understood.

Influence of jets on the contents of galaxies such asstars, dust and gas, plays an important role in the evolution of space objects. The most powerful radio jets, born in "radio loud" galaxies, are responsible for a radical change in the fate of galaxies. All due to the fact that they heat up the gas, preventing the formation of new stars and the growth of galaxies. Computer simulations of relativistic jets penetrating disk galaxies predict that they change the shape of the surrounding gas, blowing bubbles as they penetrate further into the galaxy. As a result, the study showed that the compact radio jet at the center of the Teacup galaxy is blowing as predicted by the simulation.

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Cover: Herbig-Haro object called HH111, photo: ESA/Hubble & NASA, B. Nisini