Picture of Centaurus A black hole questions current jet theories

Highest resolution image of Centaurus A obtained with the Event Horizon Telescope on top of a color composite image of the entire galaxy
Centaurus A galaxy and the EHT picture of it’s heart. Credit: R.Bors; ESO/WFI; MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weißet al.; NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al.; EHT/M.Janßen et al.

An international team anchored by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, which is known for capturing the first image of a black hole in the galaxy Messier87 (M87*), has now imaged the heart of the nearby radio galaxy Centaurus A in unprecedented detail. The astronomers pinpoint the location of the central supermassive black hole and reveal how a gigantic jet is being born. Most remarkably, only the outer edges of the jet seem to emit radiation, which challenges our theoretical models of jets. This work, led by Michael Janssen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn and Radboud University Nijmegen is published in Nature Astronomy onJuly 19th.

Prof. Luciano Rezzolla, theoretical physicist at Goethe University Frankfurt and EHT member, claims: „The recent EHT observations of Centaurus A with unprecedented resolution have a double importance. First, they allow us to strengthen beyond M87* the idea that supermassive black holes are hosted at the center of galaxies. Second, they allow us to gain invaluable information on the properties of one of the unsolved mysteries in astrophysics: the generation of ultrarelativistic jets.

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