This image shows for the first time the shadow of the black hole at the centre of a galaxy together and the powerful jet expelled from it. (AFP)

Astronomers for the first time have spotted a jet blasting from the core of a distant galaxy that has changed directions, according to a report published in SPACE.

“About 1% of the supermassive black holes, which reside at the center of most galaxies, have disks of gas and dust swirling around them. Debris from this disk that ventures toward growing black holes blasts out powerful jets at light-like speeds in random directions,” the report said.

“These jets push out massive amounts of energy into nearby areas and help shape galaxies over eons, so one of the ways astronomers classify galaxies is based on how such jets are oriented,” the report added.

It can be understood with an example, when a galaxy cores have jets of charged particles beaming out perpendicularly when seen from Earth, they are called quasars.

Jets that are aimed directly at Earth, and such galaxy cores are called blazars.

A research showed that the core of a distant galaxy named PBC J2333.9-2343 had stirred the jets back to life, one of which had “drastically” changed directions. The core had blasted jets in the past but had long gone quiet.

The galaxy, which spans four million light-years and is located about 656 million light-years away from Earth, shines strongly in radio wavelengths and is thus called a radio galaxy.

“We started to study this galaxy as it showed peculiar properties,” Lorena Hernández-García, an astronomer at the Millenium Institute of Astrophysics in Chile and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.

“Our hypothesis was that the relativistic jet of its supermassive black hole had changed its direction, and to confirm that idea we had to carry out a lot of observations.” 

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Updated: 23 Jun 2023, 02:41 AM IST

By admin

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