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Cygnus A: Ricocheting Black Hole Jet Discovered by Chandra

12 Jan 2019, 20:14 UTC
Cygnus A: Ricocheting Black Hole Jet Discovered by Chandra
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Astronomers have discovered behavior by a jet from a giant black hole that has never been seen before. Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory they have observed a jet that bounced off a wall of gas and then punched a hole in a cloud of energetic particles. This behavior can tell scientists more about how jets from black holes interact with their surroundings.The discovery was made in Cygnus A, a large galaxy in the middle of a cluster of galaxies about 760 million light years from Earth. Chandra data show powerful jets of particles and electromagnetic energy blasting away from a rapidly growing black hole at the center of Cygnus A. After traveling more than 200,000 light years on either side of the black hole, the jets have slowed down via its interaction with multimillion-degree intergalactic gas that envelopes Cygnus A. This interaction has produced enormous clouds of energetic particles that emits X-rays and radio waves.In a deep observation that lasted 23 days, scientists used Chandra to create a highly detailed map of both the jet and the intergalactic gas, which they used to track the path of the jets from the black hole. The jet on the left expanded after ...

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