A research team observed a particular black hole that ejects material almost at the speed of light. Researchers at the University of Oxford used e-MERLIN, an array of radio telescopes from the UK based on the Jodrell Bank Observatory. They also used VLA and MeerKAT telescopes.
The study has been published in Nature Astronomy and may prove useful to understand even more about the powerful jets that shoot out of black holes, especially the supermassive jets at the centre of galaxies.
The researchers have in fact identified MAXI J1820 + 070, a black hole located 11,300 light years away from us detected for the first time already in March 2018 characterized by strong and fast expulsions of materials. In reality, these are not real “ejections” but materials, especially gas, which “bounce” before being sucked into the black hole, i.e. before passing the horizon of events, and splash away at very high speeds.
The materials splashed away move so fast that, for an effect only apparent, they seem to move faster than the speed of light (this is a known phenomenon, only apparent and known as superluminal movement).
“Using our radio observations we were able to better estimate how much energy is contained in these ejections using a new method for this type of system,” explains Joe Bright, one of the Oxford Physics Department researchers involved in the study.
MAXI J1820 + 070 could be a miniature version of the supermassive black holes that are at the centre of galaxies and that determine all their gravitational movement.