Skip to comments.2-Million-Light-Year-Long Supersonic Jet Of Unknown Material Found
Posted on 10/23/2012 3:41:31 PM PDT by JoeProBono
A supersonic jet of unknown material has been discovered blasting out over two million miles from the center of a distant galaxys resident super massive black hole. It apparently looks very similar to whats called the afterburner flow, released from a jet engine.A newly gathered image of this jet shows that it contains both bright and dark regions. In a similar fashion to a phenomenon in an afterburner exhaust, known as shock diamonds.
The new image shows regularly spaced areas that are brighter than the rest of the jet in a pattern that echoes the way the afterburner from a jet engine has brighter diamond-shaped areas in its general glow.
One intriguing possibility is that the pattern we see in this cosmic jet is produced in the same way as the pattern in the exhaust from fighter jet engines, said Dr Leith Godfrey, from the Curtin University node of The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.
According to the researchers, the jets are created when there is material falling into the event horizon of a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. While that is the currently accepted theory, there isnt any more detail to it than that.
Massive jets like this one have been studied for decades, since the beginning of radio astronomy, but we still dont understand exactly how they are produced or what theyre made of, he said.
If the brighter patches are caused by the same process in astronomical jets as they are in earthly jet engines, then the distance between them can give us important information about the power of the jet and the density of the surrounding space.
The jets in question are the largest known objects in the Universe, at least one-hundred times bigger than the Milky Way is.
If we want to understand how galaxies form and grow, we need to understand these jets. They are extremely powerful and are believed to stop stars forming in their parent galaxy, limiting how big the galaxies can grow and effecting how the Universe looks today, he said.
This new image of the jet shows detail weve never seen before and the pattern we revealed provides a clue to how jets like this one work, said Dr Jim Lovell, a co-author from the University of Tasmania.
This particular jet emits a lot of X-rays, which is hard to explain with our current models. Our new find is a step forward in understanding how these giant objects emit so much X-Ray radiation, and indirectly, will help us understand how the jet came to be.
The new image was taken by using the CSIRO Australia Telescope Compact Array radio telescope located in New South Wales.
The research was just published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
2-Million-Light-Year-Long Supersonic Jet Of Unknown Material
Pratt & Whitney j58
Black hole vomit.
Can we put Obama on one?
I thought this thread would be about Obama’s endless lies during the debates.
Supersonic? Faster than the speed of sound? Who writes this stuff?
What keeps a jet engine from becoming a molten pool of liquid metal? Amazing.
I have a real problem with talking about "supersonic jets" occurring in the vacuum of interstellar space. I may indeed be pedantic about this language usage, but in a science publication there should be anther term used for high-speed phenomena.
Scanning for a definition of supersonic renders the following "capable of exceeding speed of sound: relating to, produced by, or capable of reaching a speed that is faster than the speed at which sound travels through the air." Ah well, curmudgeon mode off.
I see that we agree (#9)!
Twwo million miles or two million light years? There is a LOT of difference.
Oh come on! It’s only 12.5 orders of magnitude. Geeze; so picky.
"you didn't build that"
The Astrophysical Journal Letters Volume 758 Number 2
L. E. H. Godfrey et al. 2012 ApJ 758 L27 doi:10.1088/2041-8205/758/2/L27
PERIODIC STRUCTURE IN THE MEGAPARSEC-SCALE JET OF PKS 0637752
I’m guessing hypersonic would be a better term but yes, its moving much faster than the speed of sound.
Why use any reference to a measure of sound speed in an article devoted to an object in deep space? It makes no sense.
To you or me maybe but some of the less neuron endowed need a little help.
Of course since the event is how many millions of light years away from us it now looks like the Ballentine Rings...LOL. The hand of God!
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