Latest Black hole Stories

2010-03-25 14:11:54

Supermassive black holes found at the centers of distant galaxies undergo huge growth spurts as a result of galactic collisions, according to a new study by astronomers at Yale University and the University of Hawaii. Their findings appear in the March 25 edition of Science Express. As massive, gas-rich galaxies in the distant universe collide, the central black hole feeds on gas that is funneled to the center of the merger. "As a result of the violent, messy collision, the black hole also...

2010-03-25 06:55:00

Up to now, primitive black holes, which occupy the cores of active galaxies and were around as far back as the early days of the universe, only existed in astronomer's models. Researchers have now found two such gravitational monsters, however, which revealed themselves as brightly glowing quasars. Their light originates from a time when the universe was barely one billion years old - and we can see them now exactly as they appeared 12.7 billion years ago (Nature, March 18, 2010). A quasar is...

2010-03-22 07:40:00

About 23% of the Universe is made up of mysterious "Ëœdark matter', invisible material only detected through its gravitational influence on its surroundings. Now two astronomers based at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) have found a hint of the way it behaves near black holes. Their results appear in a letter in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In the early Universe clumps of dark matter are thought to have attracted gas, which then...

2010-03-17 13:55:00

Astronomers have come across what appear to be two of the earliest and most primitive supermassive black holes known. The discovery, based largely on observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, will provide a better understanding of the roots of our universe, and how the very first black holes, galaxies and stars came to be. "We have found what are likely first-generation quasars, born in a dust-free medium and at the earliest stages of evolution," said Linhua Jiang of the University of...

2010-03-17 13:20:00

Quasars are active and very powerful black holes at the center of distant galaxies. The black holes are extremely massive weighing between 100 million and 10 billion solar masses and rotating around the super massive black hole is a disc of gas and dust. The inner ring of the disc moves faster than the outer rings. The movement causes the material in the rings to rub against each other, heating it and causing it to emit light. Near to the black hole it becomes so hot that X-ray radiation is...

2010-02-18 07:56:55

Jets of particles streaming from black holes in far-away galaxies operate differently than previously thought, according to a study published today in Nature. The new study reveals that most of the jet's light"”gamma rays, the universe's most energetic form of light"”is created much farther from the black hole than expected and suggests a more complex shape for the jet. The research was led by scientists at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, jointly...

2010-01-07 07:20:00

A massive old star is about to die a spectacular death. As its nuclear fuel runs out, it begins to collapse under its own tremendous weight. The crushing pressure inside the star skyrockets, triggering new nuclear reactions, setting the stage for a terrifying blast. And then... nothing happens. At least that's what supercomputers have been telling astrophysicists for decades. Many of the best computer models of supernova explosions fail to produce an explosion. Instead, according to the...

2009-12-16 09:10:47

Within a decade scientists could be able to detect the merger of tens of pairs of black holes every year, according to a team of astronomers at the University of Bonn's Argelander-Institut fuer Astronomie, who publish their findings in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. By modeling the behavior of stars in clusters, the Bonn team find that they are ideal environments for black holes to coalesce. These merger events produce ripples in time and space (gravitational...

2009-11-30 11:05:00

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has made the first unambiguous detection of high-energy gamma-rays from an enigmatic binary system known as Cygnus X-3. The system pairs a hot, massive star with a compact object -- either a neutron star or a black hole -- that blasts twin radio-emitting jets of matter into space at more than half the speed of light. Astronomers call these systems microquasars. Their properties -- strong emission across a broad range of wavelengths, rapid brightness...

2009-11-30 07:45:00

Which comes first, the supermassive black holes that frantically devour matter or the enormous galaxies where they reside? A brand new scenario has emerged from a recent set of outstanding observations of a black hole without a home: black holes may be "building" their own host galaxy. This could be the long-sought missing link to understanding why the masses of black holes are larger in galaxies that contain more stars. The "Ëœchicken and egg' question of whether a galaxy or its...

Latest Black hole Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

X-Ray Astronomy -- Although the more energetic X-rays (E > 30 keV) can penetrate the air at least for distances of a few meters (they would never have been detected and medical X-ray machines would not work if this was not the case) the Earth's atmosphere is thick enough that virtually none are able to penetrate from outer space all the way to the Earth's surface. X-rays in the 0.5 - 5 keV range, where most celestial sources give off the bulk of their energy, can be stopped by a few...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Quasar -- A quasar (from quasi-stellar radio source) is an astronomical object that looks like a star in optical telescopes (i.e. it is a point source), but has a very high redshift. The general consensus is that this high redshift is cosmological, the result of Hubble's law and that their redshift indicates that they are typically very distant from Earth; we observe them as they were several billions of years ago. Since we can see them despite their distance, they must emit more...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Cygnus X-1 -- Cygnus X-1 (often abbreviated to Cyg X-1) is an X-ray source in the Cygnus constellation considered to be one of the most likely black hole candidates. The optical counterpart (HDE 226868) is a variable 8.9 magnitude star (visible with good binoculars in good observing conditions.) at right ascension 19 h 56.5 min and declination of 35 deg 4 min (for 1950 epoch). Cyg X-1 is a binary star that contains a O9-B0 supergiant (with a surface temperature of 31000 Kelvin) and a...

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Word of the Day
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