For the first time, astronomers have taken close-up pictures of the ejections of a supermassive black hole.

Scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope project managed to get the clearest images of jets to date

supermassive black hole in the galaxy Centaurus A. These photographs confirm that black holes of all sizes and masses have similar features.

Recall that jets are jets of plasma escapingfrom the centers of such astronomical objects as active galaxies, quasars and radio galaxies. The first such jet was discovered by the astronomer Geber Curtis in 1918. Later, physicist Stephen Hawking was able to prove that such emissions come from hypothetical black holes.

It is traditionally believed that the mass of a black hole andthe brightness of the radiation generated by it is inextricably linked. This pattern was deduced from the results of observations of stellar mass objects and very large black holes in the center of galaxies. Our observations of the Centaurus A galaxy have confirmed the validity of this idea for supermassive black holes of "medium" size.

Research text

Event Horizon TelescopeTelescope) is a project to create a large array of telescopes, consisting of a global network of radio telescopes and combining data from several interferometry stations with a very long baseline throughout the Earth. In April 2019, the EHT Collaboration presented the first live images of a black hole in the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy.

Collage of images of the galaxy Centaurus A.
Radboud Univ. Nijmegen; CSIRO / ATNF / I.Feain et al., R. Morganti et al., N. Junkes et al.; ESO / WFI; MPIfR / ESO / APEX / A. Weiß et al .; NASA / CXC / CfA / R. Kraft et al .; TANAMI / S. Müller and others; EHT / M. Janßen et al.

Now the Collaboration has turned its attention toanother black hole located in the center of the radio-bright galaxy Centaurus A with a mass of 55 million Suns. Centaurus A is an active galaxy emitting giant jets of matter from a central black hole. During the observations, astronomers took record-breaking images of the black hole's emissions.

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