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Research Reveals How Plasma Swirling Around Black Holes Can Produce Heat and Light

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have uncovered a process in the swirling masses of plasma surrounding black holes and neutron stars that can cause previously unexplained emissions of light and heat. The process, known as magnetic reconnection, also jettisons huge plumes of plasma billions of miles in length. These findings can increase basic understanding of fundamental astrophysical processes throughout the universe.

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