Cosmic quasars embrace 1970s fashion trend

Researchers have studied more than 300 quasars — spinning black holes that produce beams of plasma. The team has found that the shape of these so-called astrophysical jets changes from parabolic to conical at some distance from the black hole, reminiscent of the iconic flared jeans of the ’70s. By effectively measuring these ‘cosmic pants,’ the researchers aim to interpret the workings of the central engine that accelerates matter to nearly the speed of light at the centers of remote active galaxies.