Discovery of a black hole jet more than a million light years long!

Observation in wavelengths other than the visible has enabled astronomy and astrophysics to make unprecedented discoveries. We have just obtained new evidence highlighting jets whose length exceeds a million light years and which are emitted by an elliptical galaxy close to the Local Group. These supermassive black hole jets are among the longest known.

the ashtray (Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder) is a network of radio telescopesradio telescopeslocated in Western Australia at the Murchison Radio Astronomy Observatory (MROMRO). It consists of several dozen identical parabolic antennas 12 meters wide, which all work together according to the principle of opening summaryopening summary. It is an interferometry method which makes it possible to combine the observations from several telescopestelescopes artificially to obtain the virtual equivalent of a very large instrument, for example the Earth or the Earth-Moon system, as we saw it with respectivelyEvent Horizon Telescope and RadioAstron.

Askap served as a prototype for a much more ambitious project still underway in 2022, Square Kilometer Array (abbreviated SKA, in French “Network of one square kilometer”), which will correspond to a giant radio telescope of one square kilometer. Consisting of several interferometric networks in metric and centimetric wavelengths, it is installed at two sites in South Africa and Australia.


A presentation of SKA and ASKAP. For a fairly accurate French translation, click on the white rectangle at the bottom right. The English subtitles should then appear. Then click on the nut to the right of the rectangle, then on “Subtitles” and finally on “Translate automatically”. Select “French”. © Dept. of industry, Science and resources

A jet of matter 50 times the size of its parent galaxy

A group of Australian radio astronomers from University of Western Sydney has just announced, in an article published by The conversation, which they and their colleagues had discovered using ASKAP among the longest supermassive black hole jets ever detected by instruments in the noosphere. They are associated with NGCNGC 2663, a elliptical galaxyelliptical galaxy located in constellationconstellation of the compass only about 96 million light years away The Milky WayThe Milky Way. She had been discovered byastronomerastronomer The American Lewis Swift in 1886 and at that time and even for decades thereafter, despite his proximity to Local groupLocal group of galaxies (remember that The Local Group of Galaxies or, more simply, the local group is the group of more than 60 galaxies to which the Milky Way belongs, whose diameter is approximately 10 million light years), none of the means observation in the visible had not made it possible to highlight these jets.

The discovery is revealed with all the necessary scientific details in an open access article on arXiv where we learn it in addition to observations in the field radioradioobservations within X-raysX-rays with satellites as ChandraChandra and Spektr-RG were used in the project Evolutionary map of the universe (EMU) by the team led by Velibor Velović, PhD student at University of Western Sydney.

NGC2663 is a typical elliptical galaxy about 10 times morestarsstars that the Milky Way and the ray of fabricfabric observed in the radio domain is 50 times larger than that, that is, over a length of more than a million light years, so if it could be seen in the visible ateyeeye naked, given the proximity of this galaxy, it would appear larger than MoonMoon on the firmament.


Roger Blandford tells us about supermassive black holes and their jets in this video. For a fairly accurate French translation, click on the white rectangle at the bottom right. The English subtitles should then appear. Then click on the nut to the right of the rectangle, then on “Subtitles” and finally on “Translate automatically”. Select “French”. © Quanta Magazine

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