The new images will help better understand the role black holes play in star formation and may change our understanding of how galaxies evolve.
The images show the processes taking place in a galaxy in unprecedented detail.
Radio waves emitted by galaxies appear. Scientists often choose to study it because radio waves are easier to observe than visible light. Many regions of the universe that have been obscured suddenly light up when instruments that capture radio waves instead of visible light are used, writes BBC.
We sat on something that no one had seen before
What is innovative here is that the researchers, by integrating images from 70,000 different antennas, were able to considerably improve the resolution. But it is not an easy task. Researchers spent six years developing an entirely new method that allowed them to retrieve signals from each individual antenna, digitize the signal, pass it on to a processor, and then combine all the data and turn it into images. The team behind this method is a research group led by Professor Lea Morabito at the University of Durham.
“I walked around with a big smile all day, because I knew we were wearing something that no one had seen before,” Morabito said the day the research group realized what he had achieved.
A New Look at Sleeping Black Holes
Morabito’s team produced the image at the top of the case and it shows an almost invisible galaxy surrounded by two massive orange planes – both much larger than the galaxy itself – that were launched from the galaxy.
The jets are produced by a supermassive black hole located in the heart of the galaxy. This isn’t the first time scientists have observed a relativistic jet, but in this case, the images gave them new insight into a black hole’s dormancy, the times when a black hole nearly sleeps and ejects less. matter.
(the case continues below the photo)
The image above shows the light of a galaxy that appeared when the universe was only 2.6 billion years old. By comparison, the universe is probably around 14 billion years old now. In the middle you see the galaxy itself, while the light above and below are the jets. So far, it has not been possible to study such ancient galaxies in detail.
Even experienced astronomers get chin drops
The images show that galaxies are more than accumulating stars. Professor Neil Jackson of the University of Manchester told the BBC that these factories run on solar energy, produce planets and are driven by black holes.
Even seasoned astronomers have chin drops when they see these images. Obviously, if we are to better understand galaxies, we need to learn more about black holes in their nuclei.Jackson said.
These images made this possible because they are of such high quality that they allow researchers to zoom in on the image and study details that were previously unavailable to them. Morabito and the scientists hope the images will help astronomers better understand the processes that lead to the formation of stars and planets, including our solar system.
So far, the images have yielded nine published studies, all of which dealt with black holes, but according to the research team, this is just the beginning.