Astronomers succeeded in solving the dynamics of yet another significant trick that massive black holes can put on a show. In most galaxies, beams of energy are compressed outward by the black hole that hides at the core and goes blasting off in the other directions into the Universe. But, there are times when these things don’t apply.
There are a few odd-looking galaxies where their jets resemble an X. As awkward as it might be, such a phenomenon can now be explained somehow. Thanks to new radio astronomy measurements, we can see, too, how that occurs. Here is what you need to know!
Black Hole’s Odd Shape Explained
So far, astronomers were sure about what they do and what they comprehend, especially when it comes to black holes. Even if they don’t know a lot of things, that doesn’t mean they can’t study or analyze them. Black holes have been identified as space objects, so thick that not even light can escape from it. They can also become the most bright cosmic features in the Universe, powering quasars. So, why are they still so challenging to understand?
Recently, a galaxy dubbed PKS 2014-55 has been troubling astronomers’ investigations. This ancient, elliptical galaxy is approximately 800 million light-years from our planet. The cosmic feature is also part of the constellation Telescopium. PKS 2014-55 is also oddly shaped, resembling two boomerangs placed back to back like an X. Why is like that?
According to some astronomers, the central black hole was trembling, exactly like a lawn sprinkler that sends out some beams in all directions. Or, maybe two supermassive black holes crashed, and the result was those odd boomerangs. The explanation, however, comes from an international team of astronomers that utilized the powerful radio telescope, known as MeerKAT. What they discovered might lead other astronomers to investigate the phenomenon.
They found how superhot gas is being discharged 2.5 million light-years into intergalactic space. Then, it fell in cascades, splashing sideways off the core of the galaxy, modeling an X in the Universe, as if marking a significant point on a map. Fernando Camilo, the scientists who built MeerKAT, explained how the phenomenon took place: “Material falls back and gets reflected around the center.” He also detailed that more research is needed to fully understand the black holes’ behavior.