The University of Southampton

Rapidly rotating jets shed new light on black hole impact

Published: 3 May 2019
Artist's impression of the V404 Cygni black hole X-ray binary system. Credit: ICRAR

Researchers from the University of Southampton have analysed bright outbursts from a spinning black hole which could help explain how the phenomena shape the universe's galaxies.

The international study, which was led by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Australia, observed swinging sprays of light-speed plasma clouds from a black hole some 8,000 light years from our solar system.

The findings, published in the multidisciplinary Nature journal, represent the first time these jets of hot gas have been found to not travel in a straight line. If large, supermassive black holes behave in the same way, then these jets might impact the galaxy by initiating or halting the formation of stars.

Dr Matt Middleton and Dr Diego Altamirano from Southampton's School of Physics and Astronomy played a key role in the study which examined the V404 Cygni system.

Read the full story here.

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