Skip to content

Powerful Astrophysical Jets from Black Hole Challenge Existing Theories

The micro-quasar system called SS433, discovered in 1977 within the Milky Way, is a binary system of a black hole or neutron star submerged in a dense gas cloud, which is steadily absorbing the gasses from its companion normal star. The material forms into an accretion disc around the black hole, and is subject to extreme heating; this heating causes the accretion disc to generate intense X-rays. Opposing jets of hot hydrogen are generated along the axis of rotation, above and below the plane of the accretion disc. This material travels at about one-quarter the speed of light (or about 75,000 km per second).

It is located in the supernova remnant W50, also referred to as the Manatee Nebula, located in the constellation Aquila.

SciTechDaily reported yesterday on the High Energy Stereoscopic System: “The H.E.S.S. observatory in Namibia has now succeeded in detecting very high energy gamma rays from the jets of SS 433, and identifying the exact location within the jets of one of the galaxy’s most effective particle accelerators. Through comparison of gamma-ray images at different energies, scientists from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik in Heidelberg and the H.E.S.S. collaboration revealed the motion and dynamics of a relativistic jet in our own galaxy, offering valuable insights into these extraordinary astrophysical phenomena. The results are published in the current issue of the journal Science.

It continued, “The jets are initially observable only for a short distance from the microquasar after launch—too small to be visible in this picture. The jets then travel undetected for a distance of approximately 75 light-years (25 parsecs) before undergoing a transformation, abruptly reappearing as bright sources of non-thermal emission (X-ray and gamma-ray) [and no longer in a corkscrew pattern]. Particles are efficiently accelerated at this location, likely indicating the presence of a strong shock: a discontinuity in the medium capable of accelerating particles.”

This post is for paying subscribers only


Already have an account? Sign In