An international team of scientists observed the narrowing of the quasar’s jet for the first time using a network of radio telescopes around the world. The results indicate that the narrowing of the jet is unrelated to the activity level of the galaxy that triggered it.
Almost every galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole at its centre. In some cases, huge amounts of energy are released by gas falling toward the black hole, creating a phenomenon known as a quasar. Quasars emit narrow, even streams of material at nearly the speed of light. But how and where the quasar jets collide has been a long-standing mystery.
An international team led by Hiroki Okino, a graduate student at the University of Tokyo, and including members from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), MIT, Kogakuin University, Hachinohe National College of Technology, and Niigata University, captured an image with the highest angle resolution to date that shows the deepest Part of the outflow is in a bright quasar known as 3C 273. The team found that the outflow from the quasar narrows down a very long distance. This narrow part of the plane continues incredibly far, far beyond the region dominated by the black hole’s gravity. The results show that the structure of the jet resembles jets launched from nearby galaxies with low luminosity to the active nucleus. This may indicate that the jet collimators are independent of the level of activity in the host galaxy, providing an important clue for revealing the inner workings of the jets.