- Sep 1, 2010
"What's this?" you may ask. The jet known as PKS 0637-752, a two million light year long structure. Much longer than Milky Way
It looks strikingly similar to the afterburner flow of a fighter jet, except in this case the jet engine is a supermassive black hole and the jet material is moving at nearly the speed of light. Holy cow
The jets are produced when material falls onto a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy, but many details beyond that remain unknown. Massive jets like this one have been studied for decades, since the beginning of radio astronomy, but astronomers still don't understand exactly how they are produced or what they're made of. This particular jet emits a lot of X-rays, which is hard to explain with current models.