Why are some supermassive black hole jets so short? Astronomers may have cracked the case

Estimated read time 22 min read

A new investigation into a rare and short-lived type of galaxy has revealed that such objects harbor slumbering supermassive black holes that briefly awaken to rip apart a massive star and devour its remains as a giant cosmic breakfast.

“Compact Symmetric Objects,” or CSOs, are active galaxies that have two jets blasting out from them at nearly the speed of light. These jets are common to active galactic nuclei (AGN), which have supermassive black holes feeding on surrounding gas and dust at their hearts — but the jets of CSOs are different. 

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