Microquasar SS 433 – Relativistic jets accelerating particles to extreme energies inside our Galaxy

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SS 433 stands out as one of the most intriguing objects within our Milky Way. At its core, a black hole draws material from a closely orbiting companion star, creating a hot accretion disk. Notably, a pair of oppositely directed beams of plasma («jets») spirals away perpendicularly from the disk’s surface at just over a quarter of the speed of light. The H.E.S.S. observatory in Namibia has now succeeded in detecting very high energy gamma rays from the jets of SS 433, and identifying the exact location within the jets of one of the galaxy’s most effective particle accelerators. Through comparison of gamma-ray images at different energies, scientists from the H.E.S.S. collaboration revealed the motion and dynamics of a relativistic jet in our own galaxy, offering valuable insights into these extraordinary astrophysical phenomena. T

he results are published in the journal Science. Animation: Science Communication Lab for MPIK/H.E.S.S.

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