Astronomers have observed a rare case of a galaxy shapeshifting.
A few decades ago, an object located some 630 million light-years away named PBC J2333.9-2343 was classified as a giant radio galaxy. It projected large, radio-emitting structures perpendicular to our line of sight, formed by colossal jets that once erupted from the galactic center.
More recent observations, however, reveal that the galaxy’s core has switched back on, and is now aiming its jet directly towards us.
That’s nothing to be alarmed about; in fact, it’s fairly common. So common, in fact, we have a name for it; a blazar. With its new classification, the blazar PBC J2333.9-2343 could give us a deeper understanding of how galaxies can transform, even on human timescales.
Galaxies come in a range of shapes and sizes, but they also have different activity levels based on the activity of the supermassive black holes at their