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Number of Giant Radio Galaxies

  • 12 Sep 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Indian Researchers working on giant radio galaxies (GRG) at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Pune, India and Leiden University, Netherlands, have found nearly 400 new GRGs.

  • GRGs are large single structures in the universe.

Key Points

  • Radio Galaxies: The universe has billions of galaxies and almost all have supermassive black holes at the centre.
    • Some of these black holes are active and produce jets travelling almost at the speed of light.
      • A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
    • These jets are visible in radio light or at radio wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.
    • Such galaxies, which have active black holes shooting high-speed jets, are called radio galaxies.
    • A radio galaxy is a strong source of electromagnetic radiation or radio waves.
    • They are extremely weak in radio luminosity making it difficult for even a sensitive radio telescope to detect them.
  • Giant Radio Galaxies: When some of these radio galaxies grow to enormous sizes, bigger than 33 lakh light years across, they are called giant radio galaxies (GRGs).
    • GRGs were discovered in 1974 and until 2016, only about 300 GRGs were known. The latest findings indicate that they are over 800.
    • It is not clearly understood how some objects grow to such large scales and what is the fuel of their respective black holes.
    • The length of jets indicates how powerful and active a black hole is as well as about the environment density of black holes.
  • Significance: The study of GRGs gives important clues to unveiling how these massive black holes accrete mass and the efficiency with which they produce the magnificent jets.

Source: IE

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