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Astronomy and Astrophysics
Hubble spots a high-speed collision in an extragalactic jet
Hubble spots a high-speed collision in an extragalactic jet

A high-speed, extragalactic jet of high velocity plasma has grown brighter over the last 20 years, and now scientists know why. Using data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers were able to show that over the last two decades one glowing knot of material in the jet slammed into another glowing knot just ahead of it. Now, the two knots are merging into one. This bumping and merging of the two blobs of plasma is known as a shock-collision and gives energy to the particles involved. "It basically makes them accelerate, and when they accelerate they tend to radiate at higher energies," said Eileen Meyer of the Space Telescope Science Institute...

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