A flare (blazar) is a galaxy that emits a powerful jet of ionized material toward Earth.
The light from most flares is produced by high-energy particles.
How these particles are accelerated to such high energies remains a mystery.
In a recent paper published in Nature, scientists, through observations of bright particle jets in galaxies driven by supermassive black holes
Scientists offer insight into the processes behind this phenomenon, helping to understand more about the high-energy radiation processes in black hole systems.
NASA’s X-ray Imaging Polarization Explorer (IXPE), launched in December 2021, measured the X-ray polarization of an extremely bright flare known as Makaryan 501 (Mrk 501) in March 2022.
The researchers explored the two X-ray polarization observations of Mrk 501 made by IXPE in March 2022.
Comparing these measurements with radio and optical polarization data, the researchers propose that the initial particle acceleration in the flare jet is caused by shock waves propagating outward along the jet.
These results demonstrate how different polarization measurements can be used to probe the condition of supermassive black hole systems.