“I don’t know!” is among the most scientific phrases you can utter. “I don’t know” is the reason you do science, after all. “I don’t know” means more funding, more jobs, more mysteries, and ultimately, more “now I knows.” Astronomers have now uncovered an “I don’t know” that might become an important tool to study…
If active galactic nuclei don’t make you say “holy shit,” what will? Lots of galaxies contain incredibly bright regions at their center, spewing high-energy jets into the depths of space, brighter than the light the galaxy’s stars can produce.
Blazars are a special kind of black hole - the kind with jets that are pointing right towards us! They're white hot and heading our way, but the only way we can spot them is with cool infrared telescopes. Take a look at the black holes that blaze.
The galaxy 3C 454.3 is located 7.2 billion light years away, but it's suddenly become the brightest source of gamma rays in the sky. Its particle jet has increased 10 times since the summer — and it's aimed at us.