Decoding Active Galactic Nuclei and Insights from M87’s Relativistic Jets

Precessing jet nozzle connecting to a spinning black hole in M87

Scientists have studied the radio galaxy M87, providing insights into the intricate relationship between supermassive black holes and their relativistic jets. M87’s active galactic nucleus (AGN), a compact, energetic region at the galaxy’s core, emits various forms of radiation beyond what stars produce. The recent 22-year observations reveal periodic sideways shifts in the jet’s position, suggesting the presence of a spinning black hole. This finding not only sheds light on M87’s behavior but also enhances our understanding of active galactic nuclei across the universe, where non-stellar emissions are believed to result from matter accretion onto supermassive black holes at the galaxy’s center.

Cui, Y., Hada, K., Kawashima, T. et al. Precessing jet nozzle connecting to a spinning black hole in M87. Nature 621, 711–715 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06479-6


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