Black hole jets recreated on a supercomputer. It has almost 130,000 cores

Using the NASA Climate Modeling Center (National Climate Change Secretariat, NCCS), scientists from the Center for Space

The NASA Goddard Flights conducted 100 simulations.They studied jets - narrow beams of energetic particles - that fly out of supermassive black holes at almost the speed of light. These giants are found at the centers of active star-forming galaxies such as the Milky Way and can weigh millions or billions of times more than the Sun.

As jets and winds emanate from these activegalactic nuclei (AGNs), they regulate the gas at the center of the galaxy and influence the rate of star formation in them and how the gas mixes with the surrounding galactic medium.


This visualization shows the complex structurejets of an active galaxy (orange and purple) disrupted by interstellar molecular clouds (blue and green). Since the jet is oriented 30 degrees to the central plane of the galaxy, more extensive interaction with the galaxy's stars and gas clouds caused the jet to split in two. Credit & Copyright: Ryan Tanner and Kim Weaver, NASA Goddard

“In our simulations, we focused on lessstudied low-luminosity jets and how they determine the evolution of their parent galaxies,” explains the research leader in a press release to the work.

The new simulations were run on 127,232 nuclearNASA's NCCS Discover supercomputer. Scientists have observed how fainter jets with low luminosity interact with the galactic environment around them. Because such jets are harder to detect, simulations have helped astronomers relate these interactions to various gas motions, optical and X-rays.

Supercomputer Discover at NCCS. Credit: NASA Goddard Conceptual Imaging Lab

Modeling revealed two main propertieslow luminosity jets. First, they interact with the host galaxy much more strongly than high-luminosity jets. And, secondly, they influence the interstellar medium inside the galaxy and are under its influence.

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On the cover: active giant elliptical galaxy M87. A relativistic jet (jet) escapes from the center of the galaxy. Photo: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)