Cygnus A Is An Active Galactic Nucleus

Astronomers continue to study the universe, as it holds much mystery and fascination among many people. New discoveries come up, which add to the fascination with the universe. One of these fascination objects is Cygnus A, an active galaxy that is said to be different from other such active galaxies.

An active galaxy is one that has a massive black hole at its center. These massive black holes continually take in large amounts of material into it. As a result of this, the black hole has excess material coming out as bipolar jets that move rapidly away from it, as Phys Org reports. This makes the galactic center very bright as material goes into it.

These galaxies also have what is termed as hotspots, or areas where the flow of the jets emitting from the black hole are reversed back into the black hole itself. The result is more turbulence as well as more luminous light coming from the area, as Astronomy Now contends. This is normal in most active galaxies, though there are certain active galaxies that do not follow this norm.

Cygnus A is one such galaxy that is not the norm for active galaxies. Astronomers have speculated why it could be different from other active galaxies. Its hotspots are small in size when compared to other active galaxies' hotspots. Low-frequency radio telescopes had trouble trying to resolve these small hotspots.

Now though astronomers have better equipment to look into Cygnus A. CfA astronomers Reinout van Weeren and Gianni Bernardi have used the Low Frequency Array radio telescope to get better spatial images of the hotspots. A detailed analysis would be submitted later on regarding their findings.

It is speculated that Cygnus A might be that way as there might be some other processes at work which is affecting it. The local material around the black hole could be absorbing radiation as well, which might explain why the galaxy has a different behavior. Further study is being made as to why it is different from other active galaxies. There is also some doubt that the universe is expanding rapidly, as a report earlier states.

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