Astronomers photographed a jet escaping from two colliding galaxies. This is the first time that researchers have been able to fix such a structure in the process of merging, and a snapshot of it will allow a better understanding of the processes that occur when galaxies collide. The work of scientists from the Observatory of Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Bologna is published in the journal Astrophysical Journal.
Researchers studied the collision of the galaxy TXS 2116-077 with another object of a similar size in the infrared range using the Chandra telescope.
In the picture, the researchers managed to fix the relativistic jet of gas and plasma, which is ejected from two large galaxies in a collision. Both objects have supermassive black holes in the center, which during a collision usually produce such a powerful flow of energy that it is difficult to see because of its brightness.
“As a rule, a jet emits light that is so strong that we cannot see the galaxy behind it. It’s like trying to look at an object, and someone [at the same time] will shine a bright lamp in your eyes”.
Stefano Marquezi, lead author of the research
It was possible to photograph the jet due to the fact that scientists saw it at an early stage of formation – in a few years it will be so bright that it will not be possible to study it.