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The huge galaxy around the huge black hole



  The Giant Galaxy Around the Giant Black Hole
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, here shown, houses a supermassive black hole that hurls two streams of material at nearly the speed of light into space. The inset shows a close-up view of the shock waves generated by the two nozzles. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / IPAC

On April 1

0, 2019, the Horizon Telescope (EHT) event unveiled the very first image of the event horizon of a black hole, the area where light from the immense gravity of the black hole can not escape. This huge black hole with a mass of 6.5 billion suns is located in the elliptical galaxy Messier 87 (M87). EHT is an international collaboration whose US support includes the National Science Foundation.

This NASA Spitzer Space Telescope image shows the entire M87 galaxy in infrared light. In contrast, the EHT image relied on light in radio wavelengths and showed the shadow of the black hole against the background of high-energy material.

About 55 million light years away from Earth, the M87 was an astronomical theme. This study has been conducted for over 100 years and mapped by many NASA observatories, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and NuSTAR. In 1918, the astronomer Heber Curtis first noticed a "curious straight beam" that extended from the center of the galaxy. This bright beam of high-energy material, which is generated by a disk of material that rotates rapidly around the black hole, is visible in several wavelengths of light from radio waves through X-rays. When the particles in the beam strike the interstellar medium (the sparse material that fills the space between the stars in M87), they create a shock wave that radiates in infrared and radio wavelengths of light but invisible light. In the Spitzer image, the shock wave is stronger than the jet itself.

  The Giant Galaxy Around the Giant Black Hole
The Galaxy M87 looks like a blurry blue space puff in this image from the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope , At the center of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole that shoots two streams of material into space. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / IPAC

The lighter jet, which is located to the right of the center of the galaxy, is approaching the Earth almost directly. Its brightness is enhanced by its high speed in our direction, but even more so by the effects scientifically termed "relativistic effects" that arise because the material in the jet is moving near the speed of light. The trajectory of the jet is only slightly offset from our line of sight with respect to the galaxy, so we can still see some of the length of the jet. The shock wave begins around the point where the jet seems to curve, highlighting the areas where the fast-moving particles collide with gas in the galaxy and slow down.

The second jet, on the other hand, moves away from us so fast that the relativistic effects make it invisible at all wavelengths. The shock wave she creates in the interstellar medium is still visible here.

The shock wave is located on the left side of the center of the galaxy and looks like an inverted letter "C". Although it is not visible in optical images, the lobe can also be seen in radio waves, as in this image from the Very Large Array of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

  The Giant Galaxy around the Giant Black Hole
This wide-field image of the M87 Galaxy was taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The top section shows a close-up of two shockwaves generated by a jet emerging from the supermassive black hole of the galaxy. The Horizon Telescope event has recently captured a close-up of the silhouette of this black hole shown in the second part. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

Combining infrared observations, radio waves, visible light, X-rays and extremely energetic gamma rays, scientists can study the physics of these powerful jets. Scientists still strive for a solid theoretical understanding of how gases drawn in black holes produce effluent gases.

Infrared light at wavelengths of 3.6 and 4.5 microns is shown in blue and green, showing the distribution of the stars, while dust showing this brightly lit at 8.0 microns are shown in red. The picture was taken during Spitzer's first "cold" mission.


The fading spirit of a long-dead star


Provided by
Jet Propulsion Laboratory




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The huge galaxy around the huge black hole (2019, 26th April)
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