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News Release 239 of 959

April 14, 2009 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2009-16

Hubble Witnesses Spectacular Flaring in Gas Jet from M87's Black Hole

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Video: M87 Jet - Knot Flaring (Narration Only)

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Hubble astronomers have watched a knot in the jet of gas and radiation from M87's black hole that appears to brighten steadily for several years, then fade, only to brighten again. While researchers can't be sure what's causing this phenomenon, some speculate the jet is hitting interstellar material. Another hypothesis is that the jet's magnetic field lines are being squeezed together and unleashing a large amount of energy.

Video Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay, G. Bacon, and M. Estacion (STScI)

Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Madrid (McMaster University)

Selected still images from this video (click to enlarge):


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