Astronomers have made an exciting discovery in the form jets of materials released by a supermassive black hole that can reach over 99% of the speed of light.
The black hole is known under the name of M87*, and it is located in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy. Its mass is up to 6.5 billion times larger than that of our sun and is one of the most significant black holes that have been detected. It was also the star of the first image which showcased the looks of a black hole.
A team of researchers harnessed the functionality of the Chandra X-ray Observatory to learn more about jets released by M87*. The Chandra X-ray Observatory was designed to measure X-ray emissions that take place in the universe and are released during a variety of events.
M87 Supermassive Black Hole Amazed The Scientists
The results were quite impressive as the speeds of the jet were considerably more prominent in comparison to the expectations of the researchers. The new batch of data dismissed a theory that inferred that fast jets might have been shockwaves.
The particles found in the jets released by M87* travel at a speed that is close to the cosmic speed limit. During the research, the astronomers also observed superluminal motion. This phenomenon takes place when an object moves at speed higher than that of light, something that has been deemed to be impossible. One of the fundamental laws of physics notes that nothing can move faster than light.
Jets can release such high speeds due to the mechanics which power a black hole. The material tends to gather around a black hole in the form of an accretion disk. While the black hole consumes most of the material, some will be pushed away in the way of jets.