This animation shows a supermassive black hole billions of times the mass of the Sun. This particular black hole anchors a type of galaxy called a blazar, which produces two jets of particles moving at nearly the speed of light — one of which points almost directly at Earth.
On September 22, our Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope saw a powerful flare of high-energy light from this blazar. At the same time, the National Science Foundation’s (@nsfgov) IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole detected a neutrino — a high-energy cosmic particle — from the same direction.
The neutrino was the first we’ve ever detected from a source outside our galactic neighborhood, and this discovery is also the first time we’ve seen light and a neutrino from the same black hole source. Fermi and IceCube’s work represents a new chapter in multimessenger astronomy – viewing the same event using different messengers like light, particles and gravitational waves.
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