Black holes

How does matter behave near a black hole?

Black holes are compact objects in space where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light can escape from their interiors.  Just outside these black holes however, extreme phenomena are observed as matter gets close, but not too close!  One particularly remarkable phenomenon are the plasma jets squirted in opposite directions away from jets.  Sometimes, as in the figure showing a microquasar known as SS433, the direction along which the jets are squirted precesses with time giving beautiful structures in space.

The actual physical mechanisms by which matters is attracted towards but then squirted away from black holes are not well understood.  One of the science goals of the Global Jet Watch project is to investigate and understand these processes.