This black hole sprays rotating plasma clouds

This black hole sprays rotating plasma clouds
Artist's impression of jet ejections in V404 Cygni. Credit: ICRAR.

In a new study, scientists have discovered that rapidly swinging jets come from a black hole.

They found that the jets are rapidly rotating with high-speed plasma clouds flying to different directions.

The black hole is about 8000 light-years from Earth and called V404 Cygni.

The research was conducted by a team from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

V404 Cygni was identified as a black hole in 1989. At that time, scientists found it released a big outburst of jets and radiation. Previous outbursts in observation occurred from 1938 and 1956.

In 2015, when V404 Cygni had another very bright outburst, scientists used telescopes around the world to see what was going on.

In the current study, the team used observations from the Very Long Baseline Array, which is a continent-sized radio telescope made up of 10 dishes across the United States.

The team suggests that this black hole is feeding on a nearby star. It pulls gas away from the star and forms a disk of material.

The material encircles the black hole and spirals towards it under gravity.

They also suggest that the disk of material and the black hole are misaligned.

Different from other black holes, which have jets that shoot straight out from the poles, this black hole has jets that are shooting out in different directions at different times.

In the study, the team estimated that the jets were changing direction very quickly—over no more than a couple of hours.

They explain that the change of the jet movement is caused by the accretion disk, which is the rotating disk of matter around a black hole.

The inner part of the accretion disk was processing and effectively pulling the jets around with it.

The lead author of the study is Associate Professor James Miller-Jones, from Curtin University.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

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