NASA | Chandra X-ray Observatory | 2020 Oct 14
Some supermassive black holes launch powerful beams of material, or jets, away from them, while others do not. Astronomers may now have identified why.
Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s XMM-Newton, Germany’s ROentgen SATellite (ROSAT), the NSF's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and other telescopes, researchers have studied more than 700 quasars – rapidly growing supermassive black holes – to isolate the factors that determine why these black holes launch jets.
Jets from supermassive black holes can inject huge amounts of energy into their surroundings and strongly influence the evolution of their environments. Previously, scientists realized that a supermassive black hole needs to be spinning rapidly to drive strong jets – but not all rapidly spinning black holes have jets.
“We found there’s another determining factor of whether a supermassive black hole has jets, something called a black hole corona threaded by magnetic fields,” said Shifu Zhu ... “If you don’t have a black hole corona that’s bright in X-rays, it seems like you don’t have powerful black hole jets.” ...
The Lx-Luv-Lradio relation and corona-disk-jet connection in optically selected radio-loud quasars ~ S. F. Zhu et al