Supermassive black hole caught blasting out jet shaped similar to DNA

The first black hole that we photographed has been caught shooting out a jet that is shaped similar to DNA or a cork screw.

@JakConnorTT
Published Tue, Dec 14 2021 2:04 AM CST   |   Updated Fri, Jan 7 2022 12:03 AM CST

A galactic jet has been ejected from the only black hole that humans have ever taken an image of, and researchers believe it's shaped like a helix.

Supermassive black hole caught blasting out jet shaped similar to DNA 01 | TweakTown.com
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Messier 87 galactic jet helix structure.

According to a statement from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the black hole is located 55 million light-years from Earth at the center of the elliptical galaxy called Messier 87, which is the same and only black hole ever to be photographed. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory states it operated the Very Large Array and found that the jet is shaped by a corkscrew-shaped magnetic field that stretches from the center of the black hole out at a distance close to 3,300 light-years.

"By making high-quality VLA images at several different radio wavelengths of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87), we were able to reveal the 3-dimensional structure of the magnetic field in this jet for the first time," said Alice Pasetto, lead author of the study and an astronomer at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Supermassive black hole caught blasting out jet shaped similar to DNA 02 | TweakTown.com

Messier 87 black hole photographed.

The recent observation of this magnetic field marks a milestone as it's now the longest magnetic field detected for a galactic jet, according to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The researchers explain that helical magnetic fields are typically found closer to the center of the black hole, as they are assumed to play a role in creating a narrow jet. However, researchers were surprised when the helical structure of the jet for Messier 87 extended so far.

"Helical magnetic fields are expected close to the black hole, and are thought to play a highly important role in channeling the material into a narrow jet. But we didn't expect to find such a strong helical field extending so far outward," said Jose M. Marti, co-author of the study and an astronomer at the University of Valencia in Spain.

Observations revealed that the total length of the Messier 87 galactic jet that shoots energy and matter out into space is around 8,000 light-years long.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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