The radiant jets are erupting from a galaxy called 3C 279, located five billion light years from Earth. Even across this immense distance, 3C 279 shines like a cosmic beacon because it is a “blazar,” which means its galactic core is among the brightest and most energetic objects in the universe.
At the center of 3C 279 lies a supermassive black hole that is about one billion times as massive as the Sun. When clumps of matter fall into the hole, they become super-hot and energetic, sparking the enormous jet explosion that scientists see blasting out of the blazar’s pole.
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