Weird radio structure detected around universe’s brightest quasar

Astronomers have discovered two large, mysterious objects blasting out of the brightest black hole in the known universe.

Discovered in a 1959 survey of cosmic radio-wave sources, the supermassive black hole 3C 273 is a quasar — ​​short for “quasi-stellar object,” because the light emitted by these behemoths is bright enough to be mistaken for starlight. While black holes themselves do not emit light, the largest ones are surrounded by gargantuan swirls of gas called accretion disks; as gas falls into the black hole at near-light speed, friction heats the disk and causes it to blaze with radiation — typically detected as radio waves.

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