Exploring the plasma loading mechanism of radio jets from black holes

Exploring the plasma loading mechanism of radio jets from black holes

Credit: Tohoku University

Galaxies, including our own Milky Way, host supermassive black holes at their centers, millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun. Some supermassive black holes release fast-moving plasma streams that emit strong radio signals, known as radio jets.

Radio aircraft were first discovered in the 1970s. But there is still much unknown about how it is produced, particularly the power source and the plasma loading mechanism.

Recently, the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration revealed radio images of a nearby black hole in the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87. The observation supported the theory that the black hole’s rotation powers the radio jets but did little to explain the mechanism of plasma loading.

Now, a research team led by Tohoku University astrophysicists has proposed a promising scenario that illustrates the mechanism of plasma loading in radio planes.

Recent studies have claimed that black holes It is highly magnetized because magnetized plasma within galaxies carries magnetic fields to the black hole. Then, the neighboring magnetic energy transiently releases its energy Magnetic reconnection, activates the plasma surrounding the black hole. This magnetic connection provides the power source for solar flares.

Plasma in solar flares produces ultraviolet and X-rays; While magnetic reconnection around the black hole can cause gamma ray emission Because the energy emitted by each plasma particle is much higher than that of the solar flare.

The current scenario suggests that the emitted gamma rays interact with each other and produce abundant electron-positron pairs, which are loaded into radio jets.

This explains the large amount of plasma observed in radio jets, consistent with M87 observations. Additionally, the scenario notes that the radio signal strength varies from black hole to black hole. For example, radio jets around Sgr A* – the supermassive black hole in our Milky Way – are too faint to be detected by current radio facilities.

The scenario also predicts the short-term emission of X-rays when plasmas are loaded into radio jets. These X-ray signals are ignored with current X-ray detectors, but can be observed by planned X-ray detectors.

“Under this scenario, future X-ray astronomy will be able to unravel the mechanism of plasma loading into radio jets, an ancient mystery of black holes,” says Shigeo Kimura, lead author of the study.

Details of Kimura and his team’s research have been published in Astrophysical Journal Letters On September 29, 2022.

A rotating black hole drives jets by magnetic flux

more information:
Shigeo S. Kimura et al., Magnetic reconnection in the black hole magnetosphere: Lepton loading in jets, ultraluminous radio dots, and multi-wavelength flares, Astrophysical Journal Letters (2022). DOI: 10.3847 / 2041-8213 / ac8d5a

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Tohoku University

the quote: Exploring the Plasma Loading Mechanism of Radio Jets Launched from Black Holes (2022, September 30) Retrieved October 2, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-exploring-plasma-mechanism-radio-jets. html

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