SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory - 2010 Feb 17
Jets of particles streaming from black holes in far-away galaxies operate differently than previously thought, according to a study published today in Nature. The new study reveals that most of the jet's light -- gamma rays, the universe's most energetic form of light -- is created much farther from the black hole than expected and suggests a more complex shape for the jet.
Recent observations of blazar jets require researchers to look
deeper into whether current theories about jet formation and
motion require refinement. This simulation, courtesy of Jonathan
McKinney (KIPAC), shows a black hole pulling in nearby matter
(yellow) and spraying energy back out into the universe in a jet
(blue and red) that is held together by magnetic field lines (green).
The Fermi-LAT Collaboration and members of the 3C 279 multi-band campaign.
A change in the optical polarization associated with a γ-ray flare in the blazar 3C 279.
Nature, 463, 919-923 (18 February 2010) DOI: 10.1038/nature08841