High-speed 'jets' spat out by black holes helps determine a galaxy's fate

Washington, Nov. 14 : Astronomers have said that high-speed 'jets' spat out by black holes pack a lot of power as they contain heavy atoms.

CSIRO's Dr. Tasso Tzioumis, a member of the research team, said that jets from supermassive black holes help determine a galaxy's fate -- how it evolves.

Tzioumis said that so they want to understand better the impact jets have on their environment.
The team, led by Dr. Maria Diaz Trigo of the European Southern Observatory, used the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton space telescope and CSIRO's Compact Array radio telescope in eastern Australia, and found the first evidence of heavy atoms -- iron and nickel -- in the jets from a 'typical' black hole known as 4U1630-47.

An iron atom is about 100,000 times more massive than an electron. When a massive particle is moving it carries more energy than a lighter particle moving at the same speed.

Tzioumis said that heavy atoms have been seen in jets from one other system, SS433, but that's a very unusual system, an oddball, whereas this system is quite typical, much more likely to represent black holes in general.

While 4U1630-47 is a small black hole, a few times the mass of the Sun, the physics of black holes "is scalable," he said, meaning that the finding would apply to larger black holes.

The study has been published in the journal Nature.

--ANI (Posted on 14-11-2013)

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