The power of a sneeze air stream made us wear masks during the outbreak. In fact, black holes in the universe do not only devour matter, but also “sneeze”, and spray something close to the speed of light, up to tens of thousands of light-years long. In early April last year, the Event Horizon telescope (EHT) released the first black hole photos of humans. Nearly a year later, the international scientific organization released a “sneeze” photo of a black hole: a relativistic jet stream spewing from near a supermassive black hole.
神秘的相对论性喷流本质上是超强等离子体。从这张照片中，位于德国波恩的马普射电天文研究所Jae Young Kim团队得到有史以来最高分辨率，从而发现一个意料之外的结构：黑洞“打喷嚏”还会拐弯，喷流并不是笔直的。
The jet stream in the photo appears in quasar 3c279, a galaxy located in Virgo. A spot of light in its center is unusually bright and flashing non-stop. This suggests that there is a supermassive black hole, where gases and stars fall into its sphere of influence and rotate into a hot, high-energy “accretion disk”.
The researchers estimate that the black hole, which is about 1 billion times the mass of the sun, is not just coming in and out of the process of crushing the engulfed gas and stars, but will spew out two thin, flame-like high-speed plasmas, even because of the angle of observation, which presents a geometric illusion of super-light speed.
Similar black hole jets have been discovered before by the Chandra Space Telescope, and this time the EHT telescope has received the highest resolution ever, less than half a light-year, to see an unexpected structure:
The straight jet stream has a curved shape at the bottom. This is the first time scientists have discovered the vertical characteristics of the jet stream, and there have been rapid changes during the observation period of several days in April 2017.
“It’s like you’ve taken the inside one of the Russian sets and found very different shapes,” says Jae Young Kim. “
The change of the jet stream in a few days
He was also puzzled by the speed with which the spray detail image changed: “The relativistic jet stream shows super-light motion, an optical illusion.” But the vertical piece is brand new and needs to be carefully analyzed. “
Thomas Krichbaum, the lead author of the research project, also said that it is difficult to explain the lateral visual motion in the relativity jet stream at about 20 times the speed of light. This implies instability in the plasma in the propagation.
The EHT consists of an array of eight telescopes around the world that work together using a technique called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to form a large telescope with an effective diameter equal to the diameter of the Earth, the resolution of which astronauts on the moon can see on Earth.
EHT consists of an array of eight telescopes around the world
EHT canceled observations in March and April this year as a result of the outbreak of new coronary pneumonia, and is working to analyze data from activities such as black holes in the center of the Milky Way, as well as the galaxy of Constellation A, OJ 287 and NGC 1052. The idea that black holes “sneeze” turns the corner is also in follow-up research.