Home > Astronomy, Black Holes, General Astronomy, Quasars > Microquasar Found In Neighbor Galaxy, Tantalizing Scientists

Microquasar Found In Neighbor Galaxy, Tantalizing Scientists


For the first time, astronomers have found a microquasar — a black hole devouring material from a companion star — in a galaxy beyond our own Milky Way. The object, pumping out X-rays and bright bursts of radio waves, was found in the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light-years from Earth.

The discovery, scientists say, gives hope that more such objects may be found in nearby galaxies, providing them with opportunities to make detailed studies that will unravel the mystery of just how these enigmatic powerhouses — and their big brothers — actually work.

In a microquasar like the one newly discovered, a black hole with a mass several times that of the Sun pulls material from its companion star into a rapidly-rotating disk. The disk surrounding the black hole can become so hot it emits X-rays. The disk also propels narrow jets of subatomic particles outward at speeds nearing that of light. The jets generate strong bursts of radio emission.

Full Story: http://www.nrao.edu/pr/2012/microquasar/

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