Event Horizon photographs the launch of cosmic material from the center of the Centaurus A galaxy

Event Horizon photographs the launch of cosmic material from the center of the Centaurus A galaxy

Event Horizon has managed to process a series of images, with extraordinary definition, of the "nearby" galaxy called Centaurus A, allowing us to observe two twin beams of cosmic material moving away from the frightening supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. at sub-light speed.

Credit: Radboud University; ESO / WFI; MPIfR / ESO / APEX / A. Weiss et al .; NASA / CXC / CfA / R. Kraft et al .; EHT / M. Janssen et al.

The Event Horizon Telescope project does not concern a single apparatus, but is a real network of telescopes in every corner of the globe, capable of observing a single point in space from practically all the various possible angles, combining the collected data together to finally obtain a series of very high resolution images. We are talking, in practice, of a "telescope" as large as the Earth itself! To find out more about it, we recommend “EHT- The planetary telescope that will see a black hole” by Stefano Sello, available for purchase at this link.

Previously, Event Horizon showed images of the shadow of a supermassive black hole in the galaxy M87, the magnetic field gravitating around it and also the explosions derived from some blazers (blazing quasi-stellar objects), that is highly energetic, changing and compact sources, generally associated with black holes of this type.

Centaurus A is an elliptical galaxy that is just over 12 million light years away from us, thus making it always on astronomical scale, the closest active galaxy to our position. It is an active galaxy because the supermassive black hole at its center is actively consuming matter and emitting huge amounts of radiation.

The matter that "falls" inside the black hole does not simply disappear, but collects in a sort of disk around the black hole itself. The friction produced by the continuous growth of the matter that forms this disk ends up heating the latter by millions of degrees, making it shine with a sinister glow and making it emit flashes of radio waves and gamma rays. This is the reason why the center of a galaxy is very bright, even if that of Centaurus A has a thick band of cosmic debris all around, which partially shields this radiation.

Credit: Radboud University; CSIRO / ATNF / I. Fein et al., R.Morganti et al., N. Junkes et al .; ESO / WFI; MPIfR / ESO / APEX / A. Weiss et al .; NASA / CXC / CfA / R. Kraft et al .; TANAMI / C. Mueller et al .; EHT / M. Janssen et al.

In many of these galaxies, a magnetic field is present around this disk, creating a sort of cosmic "vortexes" that capture and drag material away from the disk itself, accelerating it to very high speeds and causing it to disperse into space. In the case of Centaurus A, these jets of material, called "jets" by astronomers, move at speeds up to 40% of that of light. In this case, the phenomenon is so powerful that it causes the material to completely leave the galaxy, going to disperse in the intergalactic vacuum for millions of light years.

The physics that governs the phenomenon of jets, is not yet very clear to astronomers, which is why they are increasingly interested in the study, as detailed as possible, of the centers of galaxies. Study made possible by the high resolution images obtained with the Event Horizon Telescope project.

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