This is a problem on a galactic scale: scientists have reported that galaxy PBC J2333.9-2343 has been reclassified following the discovery of a supermassive black hole currently facing our solar system, according to the Royal Astronomical Society.
“We started to study this galaxy as it showed peculiar properties. Our hypothesis was that the relativistic jet of its supermassive black hole had changed its direction, and to confirm that idea we had to carry out a lot of observations,” said Dr Lorena Hernandez-Garcia, according to the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
The galaxy, about 657 million light-years away, was originally classified as a radio galaxy, according to the study, but scientists have realized that the cosmic phenomenon has rotated 90 degrees and is now pointing its centre towards Earth.
This means that the galaxy is now a “blazar”, which means a galaxy point which has jet points pointing at Earth. According to RAS, blazars are very high-energy objects and are considered to be one of the most powerful phenomena in the Universe.
Researchers at the Royal Astronomical Society have determined that the galaxy spans nearly 4 million light-years across – nearly 40 times the size of the Milky Way.
Scientists do not currently know what caused the change in direction, although some believe that PBC J2333.9-2343 collided with another galaxy, causing the change in direction.
It is also not clear how the direction of the black hole will affect our galaxy.