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Cosmic Engines Surprise XMM-Newton

Prof. WANG Junxian and others at the University of Science and Technology of China had

spotted using XMM-Newton a rare type of galaxy, from which a higher number of X-rays

than thought possible have been detected. The observation, giving a new insight into the

powerful processes shaping galaxies during their formation and evolution, was published in

an April issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

A couple of years ago, researchers at the Center for Astrophysics, University of Science and

Technology of China had found a rare type of quasars with a strong absorption capability.

They ejected gases in a special direction. Prof. WANG and others accidentally discovered

that these quasars show little X-ray emission, indicating that there is enough gas to absorb

most of the X-rays given out from the region near the black hole. In a normal condition, the

gases ejected would be a strong absorber of X-ray radiation. Computer simulations

suggest that powerful radiation and magnetic fields present in the region eject some of gas

from the gravitational clutches of the black hole, throwing it back into space. "Our results

can help refine the computer simulations of how these quasars work," says Wang.

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