An international group of scientists from Germany, South Africa, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Georgia have found out the nature of the rare high-energy neutrinos for the first time in the history recorded in September 2017. It turned out that the elusive particle was born relativistic jets of blazar TXS 0506+056, remote 3.8 billion light years from Earth. Article astronomers published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
The researchers carefully analyzed and modeled the observations of TXS 0506+056, obtained by using the interferometer VLBA (Very Long Baseline Array) during the period for the years 2009-2018. They watched as the relativistic jet of the blazar changed its direction and density during increased activity of neutrinos between September 2014 and March 2015, and also immediately before and after the detection of high-energy neutrinos.
Blazar — a type of quasar, which changes its brightness and represents the core of a large elliptical galaxy. In the center of the blazar is a supermassive black hole, which generates relativistic jets or jets — streams of plasma that reach relativistic speeds.
It turned out that in the case of TXS 0506+056 jets collide with each other, producing a bright flash. The researchers found clear evidence of the precession of the inner part of one of the jets, the full cycle which takes place in about 10 years. This phenomenon is due to the lense-Thirring effect, which is observed near a massive rotating bodies and is expressed in the appearance of additional accelerations of a body moving in a gravitational field. The collision of jets, according to scientists, is the most likely mechanism of occurrence of high-energy neutrinos.
For a long time scientists have known about only two natural sources of neutrinos are the Sun and supernova 1987A. In 2017, the optical detectors of the IceCube neutrino Observatory, located on the Antarctic station Amundsen-Scott, recorded high-energy neutrinos. The particle was able to trace to the blazar TXS 0506+056, which was the first in the history of the confirmation of the existence of another source of neutrino active galactic nuclei. A new study has shown that due to the two colliding jets this blazar is atypical.
A neutrino is a fundamental particle, which reacts extremely weakly with matter, for which it is often called “particle Ghost”.
Video, photo All from Russia.