X-ray jet variable
In 2002, astronomers announced that they had tracked the life cycle of jets associated with a black hole, from initial explosion to fading, in the case of X-ray jet variable XTE J1550-564. A series of images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed the two opposing jets traveled at near light speed for several years before slowing down and fading. In the space of just a few years, it was possible to watch developments that would have taken thousands of years around a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy. Astronomers used Chandra and radio telescopes to observe the jets following an outburst, first detected in 1998 by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. These jets, which require a continuous source of trillion-volt electrons to remain bright, were observed moving at about half the speed of light. Four years later, they were more than three light-years apart, slowing down and dimming.
Related categories• TYPES OF STARS
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