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Scientists have discovered four huge cavities in a massive galaxy cluster.
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Scientists have discovered four huge cavities in a massive galaxy cluster.

Deep Chandra analysis of RBS797 galaxy cluster has revealed two distinct pairs cavities that extend out from the center. Scientists believe that a pair supermassive dark holes could be responsible for the unusual set of cosmic cavities found in the cluster, which is approximately 3.9 billion years from Earth.

Xray studies have previously revealed two pronounced Xray cavity in the east west (E-W), direction. However, the pair in the north south (N-S), direction in RBS797 was found in a Chandra observation that is much longer. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has found that the age difference between the E-W cavities and the newly discovered N-S cavities was less than 10,000,000 years.

Francesco Ubertosi, the University of Bologna, Italy, is the lead author of Chandra’s study. He and his colleagues believe that RBS 797 contains a pair of supermassive dark holes. These black holes have launched jets in parallel directions almost simultaneously, creating a quartet of cavities.

Another explanation is that only one supermassive dark hole is responsible for the formation two pairs of equidistant Xray cavities in RBS797- with jets capable of flipping in a particular direction.

“If there is one black hole that is responsible for these four cavities, then it will require us to trace its activity’s history. Key aspects are how the jets’ orientation changed quickly, and whether this is related to the galaxy cluster environment or to the physics of the black hole itself – or even a combination of both,” said Fabrizio Brighenti, a University of Bologna co-author.

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