MIT researchers think black holes release jet streams after absorbing stars

A new study suggests that black holes release jet streams after they absorb stars.
By Tyler MacDonald | Mar 20, 2018
Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggest that they have evidence that black holes release energetic jet streams after they absorb stars, according to The Boston Globe.

Dheeraj Pasham, theNASA Einstein fellow at MIT who lead the research, said the data came from the observation of radiation from a supermassive black hole consuming a star. This rare event was captured by a global network of telescopes in 2014.

Although it is known that black holes emit X-ray waves after devouring a star, the team noticed something that hasn't been reported before - high energy jet streams. These streams echoed the X-rays, leading the team to believe that they were the result of the black hole's star consumption.

"The energy that's coming out of a black hole is proportional to the energy that is going into the black hole," Pasham said.

Jet streams are an important facet of the galaxies they enter, as they can regulate its growth through their energy levels.

"Jets can halt star formation in galaxies if they're strong enough," Pasham said. "But not all black holes produce strong enough jets. That's something we don't understand."

Pasham hopes that this research will help scientists understand the differences in the sizes of jet streams released from black holes.

"These events are interesting because we can try to train our telescopes to be ready," he said. "We don't know where or when the next event will happen but if we can try to understand that we can train our telescopes in the right direction."

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