- Scientists have spent decades researching the centre of a blazing black hole.
- One structure appears to be a large smear of radio light that was detected in a 1959 survey.
Mysterious Radio Structures Updates: Two large, unidentified objects have been discovered spewing from the universe’s brightest black hole, according to astronomers. In a 1959 investigation of cosmic radio wave sources, the supermassive black hole 3C 273 was detected as a quasar (quasistellar object). The light emitted by these black holes is so bright that it may be mistaken for that of a star. Scientists have been investigating the centre of the blazing black hole for decades.
However, because the quasar is so brilliant, it has proven practically difficult to investigate the galaxy where it was discovered.Scientists were mostly unaware of the quasar’s impact on the host galaxy due to its extreme brightness.
In a new study, a group of astronomers calibrated the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in Chile to discern the radiant illumination of quasar 3C 273 from that of its host galaxy. They were only left with the radio waves from the quasar’s galaxy, which revealed two massive and mysterious radio structures that had never been seen before.A vast smear of radio light that envelops the entire galaxy looks to be one structure. The second structure, a gigantic energy jet known as an astrophysical jet that reaches for tens of thousands of light-years, collides with the radio fog.
The study was published in the Astrophysical Journal.Scientists are baffled by astrophysical jets. They have no idea how or why these occur. The radiation generated by these jets can appear brighter or darker depending on the radio frequency at which they are observed.The massive radio structure encircling galaxy 3C 273, on the other hand, remained brilliant at all frequencies. This demonstrates that the two radio structures were created by separate, unrelated occurrences.
The researchers got to the conclusion that the massive radio fog visible around the galaxy was created by star forming hydrogen gas being ionised directly by the quasar after putting various theories to the test.This is the first time ionised gas has been observed reaching tens of thousands of light-years around a supermassive black hole, according to the researchers.
This discovery clarifies a longstanding astronomical mystery:Is it possible for a quasar to ionise enough gas in its host galaxy to prohibit the formation of new stars? The researchers matched the galaxy’s estimated gas mass to that of other galaxies of comparable type and size to arrive at a conclusion. They determined that, while the quasar ionised a large amount of gas, star formation in the galaxy as a whole had not been slowed.This demonstrates that galaxies with radiation emitting quasars in their centres can nevertheless thrive and develop.”This discovery opens a new way to investigating difficulties previously treated utilising observations by optical light,” said Shinya Komugi, the primary study author and an associate professor at Kogakuin University in Tokyo.By using the same technique to additional quasars, the researchers aim to learn more about how a galaxy evolves through its interaction with the core nucleus.