For the first time, astronomers have detected a jet bursting from the center of a distant galaxy that has changed directions.
About one percent of the mass Black holes, located at the center of most galaxies with disks of gas and dust surrounding it. Debris from this disk, heading toward the growing black hole, shoots out powerful jets of light-like speed in random directions. These jets inject large amounts of energy into nearby areas and help shape them Galaxies Over the ages, so one of the ways astronomers have classified galaxies depends on how these jets are directed.
For example, when the nuclei of galaxies contain streams of charged particles, they shoot vertically. landThey are called Quasars. Sometimes, the jets are directed directly towards the Earth, and these are called galactic nuclei Blazers. Although astronomers know that quasars and barbarians exist, the latest discovery is the first time they’ve seen a galaxy in the former cluster.
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The discovery comes from a distant galaxy called PBC J2333.9-2343, whose core has flown by in the past, but has been quiet for a long time. In recent research, astronomers have found that the core has revived the jets, and that one of them has “drastically” changed directions. A galaxy four million in area light years It is located about 656 million light-years from Earth.It shines strongly in radio waves and is therefore called a radio galaxy. Because of the sharp change in flight direction, astronomers have redefined the giant radio galaxy as a galaxy. Blazer At its core.
“We started studying this galaxy because it showed strange properties,” said Lorena Hernández García, an astronomer at the Millennium Institute for Astrophysics in Chile and lead author of the study. Report (opens in new tab). “Our hypothesis was that the relativistic jet of its supermassive black hole changed direction, and we had to make a lot of observations to confirm this idea.”
So Hernández García’s team surveyed the entire galaxy Electromagnetic field – Including radio, optical, infrared, X-ray and UV wavelengths, we found that one of the jets, which was perpendicular to our line of sight, has changed its direction by 90 degrees, so it is now facing Earth. Astronomers say this is a “very unusual event of jet reorganization” and warrants a redefinition of the galaxy.
Galaxies are classified based on the direction of their planes, and why they change directions is not well understood. Some astronomers speculate that interstellar mergers or black holes contribute to intermittent bursts of jet activity, and that the directions of the jets change between bursts.
Such activity is not surprising, since astronomers already know that bright but rare X-shaped galaxies arise from their remarkable X-shape irregular, jet-like behavior. To act similarly. The team behind the latest study believes that the galaxy PBC J2333.9-2343 is X-shaped: “We didn’t see an X-shape, but it could be explained by the new jets, coincidentally, heading towards us,” the authors write in their study.
This research is described a Paper (opens in new tab) Published March 20 in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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