Like most black holes, it’s feeding on a star, pulling gas from the star and forming a disc of material that surrounds a black hole and moves toward it under gravity. Astronomers have discovered a black hole, nearly 8, 000 light years from Earth, pumping quickly swing plasma jets to the surrounding world at a speed so fast it’s dragging spacetime. The research, published in the journal Nature, shows jets from V404 Cygni’s black hole behaving in a way never seen before on such short timescales. The jets seem to be rapidly rotating with higher speed clouds of plasma, possibly minutes apart, shooting from the black hole in various directions.
This is one of the most extraordinary black hole systems I have ever come across, said Associate Professor James Miller-Jones, from Australia’s Curtin University node of the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research. Like most black holes, it’s feeding on a star, pulling gas from the star and forming a disc of material that surrounds a black hole and moves toward it under gravity. What’s different in v404 cygni is we think the disc of material along with the black hole are misaligned, Miller-Jones said in a statement. This seems to be causing the interior part of the disc to twist like a spinning top and fire jets out in various directions as it changes orientation.
He explained. As the black hole spins, it drags space around with it, leading to the precession of the interior accretion disc, researchers stated. V404 Cygni was first identified as a black hole in 1989 when it published an outburst of jets and radiation. Astronomers looking at photographic plates then found Shards of observations from 1938 and 1956. Miller-Jones reported that whenever V404 Cygni experienced another very strong explosion in 2015, lasting for fourteen days, telescopes around the globe tuned in to study what is happening. Everyone jumped on the burst with whatever telescopes they could throw it. We have this amazing observational coverage.
When Miller-Jones and his team studied the black hole, they found its own jets behaving in a way never seen before. Whereas jets are thought to shoot out of the poles of the black holes, these jets were popping out in various directions at various times, researchers stated. They were shifting direction very rapidly, on no more than a pair hours, they said. Miller-Jones reported the shift in the motion of the jets was due to the accretion disk, the disc of matter around a black hole. He explained V404 Cygni’s accretion disc is 10 million kilometers wide, and also the interior few million ponds were puffed up and wobbling throughout the bright outburst. The interior part of the accretion disc was processing and efficiently pulling the jets around with it, Miller-Jones stated.