HomeScience & TechNASA Scientists Discover "Death Star" Black Holes Firing Particle Beams Across the...

NASA Scientists Discover “Death Star” Black Holes Firing Particle Beams Across the Galaxy

A team of NASA scientists has unveiled a startling discovery of supermassive black holes emitting powerful particle beams into space. These black holes, reminiscent of the planet-destroying Death Star from Star Wars, possess the capability to change the direction of their beams, targeting different celestial objects.

On May 22, astronomers revealed the significant influence these black holes have on their surrounding galaxies and beyond. The discovery was made using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the US National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Radio Astronomical Observatory’s (NRAO) Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA).

In their statement, NASA reported detecting “16 supermassive black holes in galaxies surrounded by hot gas.” The VLBA’s radio data allowed scientists to analyze the directions of the particle beams, also known as jets, emanating from these black holes. The observations showed where each beam is currently pointed from Earth’s perspective. Notably, each black hole emits two beams in opposite directions.

Dynamic Beams and Their Impact

Francesco Ubertosi of the University of Bologna in Italy, who led the study, highlighted that about a third of these beams are now pointing in entirely new directions compared to their previous orientations. These “Death Star” black holes are dynamically swiveling and aiming at new targets, similar to the iconic space station from Star Wars.

The X-ray and radio data indicate that these jets can shift directions by over 90 degrees in some instances, with timescales ranging from one million to several tens of millions of years. Co-author Gerrit Schellenberger of the Center For Astrophysics (CFA) emphasized the rapidity of these directional changes, noting that altering the direction of such colossal black hole beams in about a million years is akin to maneuvering a new battleship in mere minutes.

Influence on Star Formation

This groundbreaking discovery suggests that the beams from these black holes significantly influence star formation within their galaxies. By changing directions drastically, the beams can suppress star formation over extensive areas of the galaxy.

“If the beams change directions by large amounts, they can tamp down star formation across much larger areas of the galaxy,” NASA explained. While these distant galaxies make it challenging to determine if the beams are directly damaging stars and their planets, scientists are confident that they are preventing the formation of numerous stars and planets in the first place.

Co-author Ewan O’Sullivan from CFA added, “These galaxies are too distant to tell if the beams from the Death Star black holes are damaging stars and their planets, but we are confident they are preventing many stars and planets from forming in the first place.”

This discovery underscores the profound and far-reaching impact supermassive black holes have on their cosmic environments, providing new insights into the dynamic processes governing galaxy evolution.

For further information and updates on this and other astronomical discoveries, stay tuned to AanWorld.

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