Supermassive black hole seen spinning ropes of plasma like a cosmic spider

Like a monstrous cosmic spider, a distant supermassive black hole is spinning a jet of plasma into a twisted rope and blasting it out at near-light speed.

Astronomers witnessed this spectacular sight with a network of radio telescopes, including the RadioAstron space telescope, that are combined to form an Earth-sized antenna. Specifically, this network was trained to observe the heart of a distant blazar named 3C 279.

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