Occasion Horizon Telescope captures start of black gap jet in Centaurus A

Highest-resolution image of Centaurus A obtained with the Event Horizon Telescope on top of a color composite image of the entire galaxy.

Enlarge / Highest-resolution picture of Centaurus A obtained with the Occasion Horizon Telescope on high of a colour composite picture of your complete galaxy. (credit score: Radboud College/ESO/WFI/MPIfR//APEX/NASA/CXC/CfA/EHT/M. Janssen et al.)

The Occasion Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration made headlines in 2019 by capturing the very first direct picture of a black gap on the middle of a galaxy. Now, the EHT is again with one other thrilling breakthrough: photographs of the “darkish coronary heart” of a radio galaxy often known as Centaurus A. The pictures allow the EHT to pinpoint the situation of the supermassive black gap on the galaxy’s middle, in line with a brand new paper printed within the journal Nature Astronomy. The pictures additionally seize the start of a robust jet emitting from the black gap. The jet’s uncommon traits might assist astronomers reply just a few nagging questions on how such jets are produced within the first place.

“This enables us for the primary time to see and research an extragalactic radio jet on scales smaller than the gap gentle travels in someday,” mentioned co-author Michael Janssen, an astronomer at Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn and Radboud College Nijmegen. “We see up shut and personally how a monstrously gigantic jet launched by a supermassive black gap is being born.”

Centaurus A (aka NGC 5128) is among the largest and brightest objects within the evening sky, making it particularly well-liked with newbie stargazers, though it is solely seen from the Southern Hemisphere and low northern latitudes. Positioned within the constellation Centaurus, the galaxy was found in 1826 by James Dunlop. In 1847, John Herschel famous its peculiar form—it appears elliptical when considered from Earth, with a lane of mud superimposed throughout it.

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