Misaligned black hole just 8,000 light years from Earth is behaving weirdly
By Alexander J Martin, technology reporter
Scientists have discovered a “misaligned” black hole just 8,000 light years from Earth – and it’s behaving in a way that has never been seen before.
Researchers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) published their findings about the V404 Cygni black hole in the journal Nature.
They have never seen a black hole behaving in such a strange way before – with its spewing radio jets rotating with high-speed clouds of plasma that are erupting out of it in different directions.
The study’s lead author, Associate Professor James Miller-Jones, said: “This is one of the most extraordinary black hole systems I’ve ever come across.
“Like many black holes, it’s feeding on a nearby star, pulling gas away from the star and forming a disk of material that encircles the black hole and spirals towards it under gravity.
“What’s different in V404 Cygni is that we think the disk of material and the black hole are misaligned.”
This misalignment means that the inner part of the black hole’s disk is wobbling like a spinning top, causing the jets to be fired out in different directions as it changes orientation.