Here’s why some supermassive black holes blaze so brightly.
For the first time, astronomers have observed how certain supermassive black holes launch jets of high-energy particles into space — and the process is shocking.
Shock waves propagating along the jet of one such blazar contort magnetic fields that accelerate escaping particles to nearly the speed of light, astronomers report November 23 in Nature.
Studying such extreme acceleration can help probe fundamental physics questions that can’t be studied any other way.
To stay up to date with latest top stories, make sure to subscribe to this YouTube channel by clicking the button above this video!
Blazars are active black holes that shoot jets of high-energy particles toward Earth, making them appear as bright spots from millions or even billions of light-years away ( SN: 7/14/15 ).
Astronomers knew that the jets’ extreme speeds and tight columnated beams had something to do with the shape of magnetic fields around black holes, but the details were fuzzy.
Foreign [Music] Here's why some supermassive black holes Blaze so brightly for the first time Astronomers have observed how certain Supermassive black holes launch jets of High energy particles into space and the Process is shocking shock waves Propagating along the jet of one such Blazer contort magnetic fields that Accelerate escaping particles to nearly The speed of light astronomers report November 23 in nature studying such Extreme acceleration can help probe Fundamental physics questions that can't Be studied any other way to stay up to Date with latest top stories make sure To subscribe to this YouTube channel by Clicking the button above this video Blazers are active black holes that Shoot Jets of high energy particles Toward Earth making them appear as Bright spots from millions or even Billions of light years away SN 7 14 15 DOT astronomers knew that the Jets Extreme speeds and tight collimated Beams had something to do with the shape Of magnetic fields around black holes But the details were fuzzy enter the Imaging x-ray polarimetry Explorer or XP An orbiting Telescope launched in December 2021 its mission is to measure X-ray polarization or how x-ray light is Oriented as it travels through space
While previous Blazer observations of Polarized radio waves and Optical light Probed parts of jet stays to years after They've been accelerated polarized X-rays can see into a Blazer's active Core SN 324-21.in x-rays you're really looking At the heart of the particle Acceleration says astrophysicist Janus Laadakis of the University of Turco in Finland you're really looking at the Region where everything happens in March 2022 IX looked at an especially bright Blazer called markarian 501 located About 450 million light years from Earth Laiadocus and colleagues had two main Ideas for how magnetic fields might Accelerate markarian 501s jet particles Could be boosted by magnetic Reconnection where magnetic field lines Break reform and connect with other Nearby lines the same process Accelerates Plasma on the sun SN 11 and 1419. if that was the particle Acceleration engine the polarization of Light should be the same along the Jet And all wavelengths from radio waves to X-rays another option is a shock wave Shooting particles down the jet at the Site of the shock the magnetic fields Suddenly switch from turbulent to Ordered that switch could send particles Zooming away like water through the Nozzle of a hose as the particles leave
The shock site turbulence should take Over again if a shock was responsible For the acceleration short wavelength X-rays should be more polarized than Longer wavelength Optical and radio Light as measured by other telescopes That's exactly what the researchers saw Liadaka says we got a clear result he Says that favors the shock wave Explanation there is still work to do to Figure out the details of how the Particles flow says astrophysicist James Webb of Florida International University In Miami for one it's not clear what Would produce the shock but this is a Step in the right direction he says it's Like opening a new window and looking at The object freshly and we now see things We hadn't seen before it's very exciting [Music]