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Radio telescope captures Jets on lip of black hole

21 May 2011

The story is at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110520160607.htm … researchers using radio telescopes throughout the southern hemisphere think they have an image (pictured) of particle jets erupting from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy. It is thought the jets arise as infalling matter approaches the black hole but we don't know how they form, it was said. However, the findings involve 'advanced computer techniques' that allow data from several telescopes to yield images with the sharpness of a single giant telescope. Galaxies such as Centaurus A display an enormous energy output that is thought to come from gas falling toward a black hole weighing millions of times the mass of our Sun. Some of this infalling material, in a process yet to be explained, appears to be ejected in the form of jets at near the speed of light – and it is this what has been seen. The actual black hole remains invisible (see also http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/geto?10770 ). 

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