Sgr A Relativistic Jets Visible?

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  • #1
D English
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Hello,

Question: If Sgr A were to emit relativistic jets, say... to a 90 degree angle from what we see as the Milky Way, how visible would that be to us on Earth?

The pictures I see on the internet suggest that the jets are about twice as long as galaxies themselves. This makes me think that the light-show would be tremendous.
 

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  • #2
Chalnoth
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It's a little difficult to find such jets because they're only emitted while the black hole is gobbling up matter, and the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy hasn't been doing much of that lately. However, there is some evidence of jets from combining Chandra and VLA data:
http://www.chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2013/sgra/
 
  • #3
D English
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Thanks Chalnoth!

I should have been more clear. I mean, would we see the jets in our sky?

For example, if Sgr A were doing this:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/ESO_Centaurus_A_LABOCA.jpg

ESO_Centaurus_A_LABOCA.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • #4
Chalnoth
Science Advisor
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Thanks Chalnoth!

I should have been more clear. I mean, would we see the jets in our sky?

For example, if Sgr A were doing this:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/ESO_Centaurus_A_LABOCA.jpg

ESO_Centaurus_A_LABOCA.jpg
Do you mean would it be visible with the unaided eye? Certainly if the jets were large and bright enough, we could see them without telescopes and in visible light. But it seems pretty unlikely that this will happen for the Milky Way any time soon, as it requires a huge amount of matter falling into the black hole to make for a show like the one in the above picture. Maybe there will be some visible jets created when the Milky Way merges with Andromeda in a billion years or so.
 

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