The jets emanating from a famous black hole are cruising along at about 99% the speed of light, according to new observations.
Researchers spotted the speedy jets emanating from a black hole in the galaxy Messier 87 (M87) — the same black hole that was imaged directly for the first time last year.
NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory imaged knots of material speeding away from the accretion disk, where gas, dust and other material swirl around the black hole. Some of the material falls into the black hole, and some is redirected away into jets of material that follow magnetic field lines.
A first look at the X-ray data appears to show particles in the jets traveling faster than the speed of light, but that is due to a phenomenon known as superluminal motion. "We haven't broken physics," lead author Brad Snios, a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), said in a statement.
Superluminal motion happens when objects are moving at almost the speed of light while traveling along a direction close to the line of sight between Earth and the object. "The jet travels almost as quickly towards us as the light it generates, giving the illusion that the jet's motion is much more rapid than the speed of light," CfA officials explained in the statement.
The apparent motion seen by Chandra shows two X-ray knots within the jet moving at 6.3 times the speed of light for the knot closer to the black hole, and 2.4 times the speed of light for the knot farther away. (The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second, or 299,792 kilometers per second). The X-ray measurements mark the first time that astronomers could map the speed of the motion, which was previously observed in radio and optical wavelengths.
The faster-moving knot also faded by more than 70% between 2012 and 2017, the two times that Chandra turned its attention to M87. Researchers attribute the fading to particles losing energy through producing radiation as they spiral around the black hole's magnetic field.
Chandra's information provides a different view of the black hole than the Event Horizon Telescope that imaged M87. The EHT looked at M87 over six days in April 2017, while Chandra's examinations of the jet look at material thrown out of the black hole up to thousands of years ago.
The results were presented at the recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Hawaii, and are also published in The Astrophysical Journal.
- Black Hole Spits Out High-Energy Jets at Near Light-Speed
- See the X-ray Neighborhood of the First-Ever Black Hole Photo
- Faster-Than-Light Travel Could Explain Mysterious Signals Beaming Through the Cosmos
Get the Space.com Newsletter
Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!
Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace
Admin said:The jets emanating from a famous black hole are cruising along at near light speed, according to new observations.
Jets Blast Out of Famous Black Hole at 99% the Speed of Light : Read more
"The apparent motion seen by Chandra shows two X-ray knots within the jet moving at 6.3 times the speed of light for the knot closer to the black hole, and 2.4 times the speed of light for the knot farther away. (The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second, or 299,792 kilometers per second). The X-ray measurements mark the first time that astronomers could map the speed of the motion, which was previously observed in radio and optical wavelengths."
A good example of superluminal motion in astronomy and how Einstein relativity physics explains :)
Wherein the creation of matter as a whole induces a complementary displacement, or warping, in the dark energy medium of the space-time fabric, its promulgation is interdependent on its insistence and persistence. For within this warping, there is yet another pertubation in the whole matter created; a dual relationship of newly created positive density matter in an envelopment of negative density matter. The complementary displacement insulates the newly created positive density matter in an envelopment of negative density matter. This envelope of negative density matter, known as dark matter, then infiltrates the spaces in matter, providing it with the ability to interact, bond, and evolve. Indeed it would require much more dark matter to fill the spaces among ordinary matter down to its smallest constituent parts.Reply
So if dark matter is what engenders a force of gravity for ordinary matter to bond, then the accretion and accumulation of ordinary matter is just the resultant consequence of this force. And if the black holes are nothing but dark matter, then it would also follow that dark matter can be accumulated, separate of ordinary matter. It would therefore also follow that the gravitational force is more representative of negative density mass than positive density mass.
Upon this hypothesis then, one can expect that there is a require transition to separate ordinary matter from its complementary dark matter. It starts first with the disintegration of matter, as a whole, as it interacts with the event horizon of the black hole. As the positive density mass is 'squeezed' upon its own gravitational acceleration toward the black hole, liken to the spaghettification effect, its matter changes to allow for its disintegration via transmutation and the massive release of photons due to alpha decay and beta decay. This is the effect wherein positive density mass is collected within the event horizon, into a plasma, increasing its photon density. This 'squeezing' effect is like extracting out the dark matter from the whole matter, allowing for the ordinary matter to be reduced to its smallest constituent components. The dark matter is then absorbed into the black hole, and the remnants of ordinary matter are discarded and radiated out at high velocity back into the cosmos; to start, once again, to reintegrated into the universe via bonding and evolving.
If you're interested in exploring this concept more, please review the alternative theories presented in the book, 'The Evolutioning of Creation: Volume 2', or even the ramifications of these concepts in the sci-fi fantasy adventure, 'Shadow-Forge Revelations'. The theoretical presentation brings forth a variety of alternative perspectives on the aspects of existence that form our reality.