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Mar 11, 2022

‘Heartbeat’ of Black Holes Solves Decades-Old Mystery of Plasma Jets

Posted by in categories: cosmology, materials

Fluctuating light from a black hole, observed over 15 years, has revealed more about the way these enigmatic objects feed.

First, a structure called a corona forms around the outside of the event horizon. Then, powerful jets of plasma launch from the poles, punching material from the corona out into interstellar space at speeds close to that of light in a vacuum.

The finding – likened to the rhythmic pounding of a ‘heartbeat’ – resolves a long open question in black hole science.

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