MPIfR: Something is Lurking in the Heart of Quasar 3C 279

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MPIfR: Something is Lurking in the Heart of Quasar 3C 279

Post by bystander » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:53 pm

Something is Lurking in the Heart of Quasar 3C 279
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | 2020 Apr 07

First Event Horizon Telescope Images of a Black-Hole Powered Jet

One year ago the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration published the first image of a black hole in the nearby radio galaxy M 87. Now the collaboration has extracted new information from the EHT data of the far quasar 3C 279: they observed the finest detail ever in the relativistic jet that is believed to originate from the vicinity of a supermassive black hole. In their analysis ... they studied the jet’s fine-scale morphology close to the jet base where highly variable gamma-ray emission is thought to originate. The technique used for observing the jet is called very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). ...

The EHT collaboration continues extracting information from the exquisite data collected in its global campaign in April 2017. Target of the observations was the quasar 3C 279, a galaxy in the constellation Virgo that scientists classify as a quasar because a point of light at its center shines ultra-bright and flickers as massive amounts of gases and stars fall into the giant black hole there. The black hole is about one billion times the mass of the sun. It is shredding the gas and stars that come near into an inferred accretion disk and we see it is squirting some of the gas back out in two fine fire-hose-like jets of plasma at speeds near the speed of light. This tells of enormous forces at play in the center.

Now, the linked-up telescopes show the sharpest-ever details, down to a resolution finer than half a light-year, to better see the jet down to the expected accretion disk and to see the jet and disk in action. The newly analyzed data show the normally straight jet has an unexpected twisted shape at its base and for the first time we see features perpendicular to the jet, which first could be interpreted as the accretion disk from where jets are ejected from the poles. Comparing the images over subsequent days, we see them change in their finest details, probing jet ejection, changes that previously were seen only in numerical simulations. ...

Something is Lurking in the Heart of Quasar 3C 279
Event Horizon Telescope | 2020 Apr 07

Event Horizon Telescope Imaging of the Archetypal Blazar 3C 279
at an Extreme 20 Microarcsecond Resolution
~ Jae-Young Kim et al
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CXC: A Golden Age for Exploring the Paradoxes of Black Holes

Post by bystander » Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:29 pm

A Golden Age for Exploring the Paradoxes of Black Holes
NASA | Chandra X-ray Observatory | 2020 Apr 07
In a universe full of exotic objects, black holes still manage to stand out for their extreme behavior and the paradoxes they display. They are the darkest objects we know about, but generate so much light they can be identified across most of the observable universe. They are famous for inexorably pulling in matter, but they can also fire off jets at almost the speed of light and create structures much larger than our galaxy. They can tear stars apart, but also nurture bursts of star formation across entire galaxies.

Discoveries like these with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory continue to mount, along with results from its sister observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope and other telescopes. Marking a golden age for the study of black holes, these telescopes have been joined in the last few years by two remarkable observatories, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

The EHT collaboration earned worldwide acclaim a year ago in revealing the first image of a black hole. Today they released their second image, which shows an unprecedented view of the region close to a quasar called 3C 379. A quasar contains a supermassive black hole pulling in matter at an impressive rate. The energy released by the matter falling toward the black hole generates intense radiation and powerful beams of high-energy particles that blast away from the black hole at extraordinary speeds. ...
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Re: MPIfR: Something is Lurking in the Heart of Quasar 3C 279

Post by neufer » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:56 pm

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JMU Wurzburg: Spinning Black Hole Powers Jet by Magnetic Flux

Post by bystander » Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:58 pm

Spinning Black Hole Powers Jet by Magnetic Flux
Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg | 2020 Aug 21
Black holes are at the center of almost all galaxies that have been studied so far. They have an unimaginably large mass and therefore attract matter, gas and even light. But they can also emit matter in the form of plasma jets - a kind of plasma beam that is ejected from the centre of the galaxy with tremendous energy. A plasma jet can extend several hundred thousand light years far into space. ...

In quasar 3C279 – also a black hole – the EHT team found another phenomenon: At a distance of more than a thousand times the shadow of the black hole, the core of a plasma jet suddenly lit up. How the energy for this jet could get there as if through an invisible chimney was not yet known.

This quasar has now been observed with the NASA space telescope Fermi-LAT by the astrophysicist Amit Shukla ... Shukla discovered that the core of the jet, which was found in the millimeter wavelength range, also emits high-energy gamma radiation, but with an extremely flickering brightness. This brightness can double within a few minutes ...

The special pattern of the sequence of brightness changes is characteristic of a universal process called magnetic reconnection, which occurs in many astrophysical objects with strong magnetic fields. ...

Gamma-Ray Flares from Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection
in the Jet of the Quasar 3C 279
~ A. Shukla, K. Mannheim
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