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Title: Event Horizon Telescope observations of the jet launching and collimation in Centaurus A
Abstract Very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations of active galactic nuclei at millimetre wavelengths have the power to reveal the launching and initial collimation region of extragalactic radio jets, down to 10–100 gravitational radii ( r g  ≡  G M / c 2 ) scales in nearby sources 1 . Centaurus A is the closest radio-loud source to Earth 2 . It bridges the gap in mass and accretion rate between the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in Messier 87 and our Galactic Centre. A large southern declination of −43° has, however, prevented VLBI imaging of Centaurus A below a wavelength of 1 cm thus far. Here we show the millimetre VLBI image of the source, which we obtained with the Event Horizon Telescope at 228 GHz. Compared with previous observations 3 , we image the jet of Centaurus A at a tenfold higher frequency and sixteen times sharper resolution and thereby probe sub-lightday structures. We reveal a highly collimated, asymmetrically edge-brightened jet as well as the fainter counterjet. We find that the source structure of Centaurus A resembles the jet in Messier 87 on ~500  r g scales remarkably well. Furthermore, we identify the location of Centaurus A’s SMBH with respect to its resolved jet core more » at a wavelength of 1.3 mm and conclude that the source’s event horizon shadow 4 should be visible at terahertz frequencies. This location further supports the universal scale invariance of black holes over a wide range of masses 5,6 . « less
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Award ID(s):
1743747 2034306 1903847 1716327
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Astronomy
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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