A team of international astronomers has reclassified a galaxy after discovering that the supermassive black hole at its center has changed direction and is now aiming towards Earth. The galaxy in question is found 657 million light-years away from us and is known as PBC J2333.9-2343.
Dr. Lorena Hernandez said: “We started studying this galaxy because it showed strange properties. Our hypothesis was that the relativistic flow of its supermassive black hole had changed its direction, and to confirm this idea we had to make a lot of observations.” Garcia, according to L Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
In a study, astronomers detailed the change. According to them, the galaxy was initially classified as a radio galaxy, but scientists realized that the space phenomenon has rotated 90 degrees and is now pointing its center towards Earth.
This means that the galaxy is now a “blazar,” meaning a galactic point that has jet points heading towards Earth. According to the RAS, blazars are high-energy beings and are considered one of the most powerful phenomena in the universe.
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Astronomers said the jet of matter from the black hole has created two massive lobes on either side of the galaxy, which are the most immediately noticeable objects when observed with radio waves.
“The fact that we can see that the core is not feeding the lobes anymore means that they are very old. They are remnants of past activity, while the structures near the core represent smaller, more active jets,” Hernandez-Garcia said.
In the study, scientists said they are currently unsure what caused the change in direction, although some astronomers believe that PBC J2333.9-2343 collided with another galaxy, causing the direction shift.
Nor is it clear how the black hole’s orientation would affect our galaxy.
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