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X-Ray Universe: Quasar's jet goes the distance

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10:10am, February 13, 2002

Photons left over from the birth of the universe appear to have helped generate the longest X ray-emitting jet ever found in a distant galaxy.

Discovered by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the jet shoots at least 1 million light-years into space, about 10 times the diameter of the galaxy in which the jet originates.

The jet emanates from a quasar–a brilliant source of light believed to be powered by a supermassive black hole–at the galaxy's core. Composed of charged particles, the jet broadcasts faint radio waves in addition to the brilliant X-ray emissions.

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