NASA’s astronomers have finally found the evidence of jet of high-energy particles coming out from Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*).
The Astrophysical Journal
Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*):
Sgr A* is the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. It is about 4 million times more massive than our Sun and is present about 26,000 light years away from us.
Jets of high-energy particles:
These jets are usually produced by young stars and black holes, and are important in transporting energy away from the central object and in maintaining the rate of formation of new stars.
Scientists are of the opinion that jets are produced, when some material is falling toward the black hole and is redirected outward.
In the present study, astronomers used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the National Science Foundation’s Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope, and found that the jet of high energy particles is actually coming out of Sgr A*. It was only suggested previously but this report has confirmed the presence.
“For decades astronomers have looked for a jet associated with the Milky Way’s black hole. Our new observations make the strongest case yet for such a jet,” said Zhiyuan Li of Nanjing University in China, lead author of a study.
“We were very eager to find a jet from Sgr A* because it tells us the direction of the black hole’s spin axis. This gives us important clues about the growth history of the black hole,” said Mark Morris of the University of California at Los Angeles, a co-author of the study.
The study shows that the spin axis of Sgr A* is pointing in one direction, i.e. parallel to the rotation axis of the Milky Way.
“We know this giant black hole has been much more active at consuming material in the past. When it stirs again, the jet may brighten dramatically,” said co-author Frederick K. Baganoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
NASA’s Chandra Helps Confirm Evidence of Jet in Milky Way’s Black Hole – NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/november/nasas-chandra-helps-confirm-evidence-of-jet-in-milky-ways-black-hole/#.Uo1IH8Rmj0s)
Zhiyuan Li, Mark R. Morris, & Frederick K. Baganoff (2013). Evidence for A Parsec-scale Jet from The Galactic Center Black Hole: Interaction with Local Gas arXiv arXiv: 1310.0146v1