Cosmic Jets

Streams of electrically particles shooting into space from the poles of some objects, such as newborn stars and black holes. A jet is powered by a strong magnetic field that captures particles from the inner edge of a rotating disks that encircles the central star or black hole. The magnetic field shoots the particles into space at close to lightspeed. The particles in a jet produce radio waves and other types of energy that can be detected by telescopes on Earth or in space. The jets around supermassive black holes can stretch across tens of thousands of light-years.


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