Near the Earth found anomalous quasar


Image: Artist’s Visualization / NASA

An international team of astrophysicists studied abnormally bright microquasar SS 433, which is in the milky Way. The black hole in this object emits gamma photons whose energy reaches record 25 teraelectronvolt (TeV), due to the existence of unique to quasars mechanism is inverse Compton scattering of photons from the microwave background on relativistic electrons. Article scientists published in the journal Nature.

The quasar is called a bright object in the nuclei of distant galaxies, which is formed by the absorption of matter by a supermassive black hole. Microquasars are observed within the milky Way, which makes them relatively close to Earth and comfortable to explore analogues of large quasars. They represent x-ray binary star, consisting of a normal star and a compact object like neutron star or black hole. The latter absorbs the substance of his companion, the result is an accretion disk and a powerful jet (jets) of plasma, moving at relativistic speeds.

SS 433, consists of a black hole (or neutron star) and supergiant, is located inside supernova remnants W50 distance 15 thousand light years from Earth. The system differs from other microquasars the fact that the accretion observed excess of the Eddington limit when the gravitational forces are unable to compensate for the pressure of electromagnetic radiation and having a powerful x-ray flash, and the total luminosity of the object reaches 10 in 40-degree erg per second. Jets, the speed of which reaches a quarter of the speed of light, extends about 40 parsecs and end at the lobes of the nebula, where give rise to x-ray and radio emission.

Astrophysics observed jets of plasma using the high-mountain experiment to find the effect of Cherenkov radiation (High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory) in Mexico. It turned out that in the area of the jets occur gamma rays with energy of 25 TeV, 10 times the energy of radiation from any other known microquasars. Scientists have found that the source of gamma radiation is the interaction accelerated to near-light velocities of electrons with energies of order hundreds of TeV photons in the microwave background (uniformly fills the Universe thermal radiation). The result of Compton mechanism of low-energy photons are converted into gamma rays.

Since this effect was first described for microquasars, the results will help to determine the properties of their larger counterparts.

Video, photo All from Russia.


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