Context: The scientists, including researchers from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India studied some of the brightest blazers called TeV (Tera-electron Volt) blazars.

About the research

  • Scientists took image frames by using two telescopes, in ARIES, India and two (0.6 m and 1.4 m) telescopes in Serbia. 
  • A detailed study of the optical flux and spectral variability of three extreme TeV (Tera-electron Volt, i.e., 1012 eV) gamma-ray emitting blazars were carried out by this team.
  • Findings:
    • They found that while Balzers’ brightness varies in the long duration, they maintain their brightness levels in short duration.
    • The peak of spectral energy distribution lies in the UV/X-ray range. 
    • Thus in optical bands, magnetic fields and electrons energies are less, causing short term optical flux stability or low amplitude variability. 
  • Significance: Blazars are among one of the most favourite astronomical transient objects, and their study could provide clues to the processes happening close to the black hole, not visible through direct imaging.

Blazers and Active galactic nuclei

  • A Blazer is an Active galactic nuclei which are galaxies with extraordinarily luminous cores powered by black holes containing millions or even billions of times more material than our Sun. 
  • Blazars are one of the most luminous and energetic objects in the universe powered by material falling onto a super-massive black hole at the center of the host galaxy.
  • Before the gas crosses the black hole's outer boundary (the event horizon) — beyond which nothing can escape — the material generates a vast outpouring of electromagnetic radiation. 
  • The luminosity is because of a jet composed of ionized matter traveling at nearly the speed of light towards an observer (the Earth).
Image sorce: Wikipedia