From NASA Rossi: “NASA’S RXTE Helps Pinpoint Launch of ‘Bullets’ in a Black Hole’s Jet” 

Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) Mission

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“Using observations from NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope, an international team of astronomers has identified the moment when a black hole in our galaxy launched super-fast knots of gas into space.

Radio imaging by the Very Long Baseline Array (top row), combined with simultaneous X-ray observations by NASA’s RXTE (middle), captured the transient ejection of massive gas “bullets” by the black hole binary H1743-322 during its 2009 outburst. By tracking the motion of these bullets with the VLBA, astronomers were able to link the ejection event to the disappearance of X-ray signals seen in RXTE data. These signals, called quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs), vanished two days earlier than the onset of the radio flare that astronomers previously had assumed signaled the ejection. (Credit: NRAO and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

This 327-MHz radio view of the center of our galaxy highlights the position of the black hole system H1743-322, as well as other features. (Credit: J. Miller-Jones, ICRAR-Curtin Univ.; C. Brogan, NRAO)

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