The images were taken by the Event Horizon Telescope aimed at capturing and exploring the environment around black holes by using innovative technology to link radio dishes across the Earth to create a planet-sized interferometer.
Researchers from Boston University captured a detailed image of a jet of plasma powered by a supermassive black hole. The image was taken by the Event Horizon Telescope from a distance of over 5bn lightyears, from the M87 radio galaxy.
The enormous plasma jets are a part of a structure known as a ‘blazar’. Such structures are formed from supermassive black holes named quasars, which wind magnetic fields as they spin at speeds approaching half the speed of light, resulting in high-energy jets that contain the material surrounding the black hole.
The high resolution of the images has allowed researchers to explore the base of the jet for the first time, the team noted.
Many questions remain, Younsi added, including what exactly the plasma of the jet is composed of, and exactly how the jet couples with the black hole.
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