Scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in the Atacama Desert, Chile, have observed jets from giant black holes in the nearby galaxy NGC 1433 and a distant blazar called PKS 1830-211.
Supermassive black holes are a million to a billion times more massive than our Sun and are found in the centers of almost all galaxies in the Universe, including our Milky Way Galaxy.
In the remote past, these objects were very active, swallowing enormous quantities of matter from their surroundings, shining with dazzling brilliance, and expelling tiny fractions of this matter through extremely powerful jets.
In the current Universe, supermassive black holes are much less active than they were in their youth, but the interplay between jets and their surroundings is still shaping galaxy evolution.
A group of astronomers led by Dr Françoise Combes from Observatoire de Paris, France, used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to study such object at the heart of a galaxy called NGC 1433.
Credit: ALMA / ESO / NAOJ / NRAO / NASA / ESA / F. Combes.
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