A black hole under the gravitational lens

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 11:01 in Astronomy & Space

Turbulent processes take place close to supermassive black holes, which lurk in the centers of nearly all galaxies. They swallow up matter flowing in from the outside while at the same time producing so-called gas jets which shoot out into space in two opposite directions. Researchers have now succeeded in localizing the origin of the high-energy gamma radiation in such a jet: it apparently originates very close to the black hole. This discovery was made possible by a micro-gravitational lens effect that occurs by chance and selectively amplifies the light from different regions close to the black hole like a magnifying glass. An unusual observation method uncovers processes near the event horizon of a distant, massive monster.

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