Latest Black hole Stories

2009-05-27 13:00:00

Using new data from ESA's XMM-Newton spaceborne observatory, astronomers have probed closer than ever to a supermassive black hole lying deep at the core of a distant active galaxy. The galaxy "“ known as 1H0707-495 "“ was observed during four 48-hr-long orbits of XMM-Newton around Earth, starting in January 2008. The black hole at its center was thought to be partially obscured from view by intervening clouds of gas and dust, but these current observations have revealed the...

2009-05-06 10:35:00

Research by a theoretical physicist at Indiana University shows that the crusts of neutron stars are 10 billion times stronger than steel or any other of the earth's strongest metal alloys. Charles Horowitz, a professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Physics, came to the conclusion after large-scale molecular dynamics computer simulations were conducted at Indiana University and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The research will appear Friday (May 8) in...

2009-04-29 10:20:00

It sounds like the plot of a sci-fi movie: rogue black holes roaming our galaxy, threatening to swallow anything that gets too close. In fact, new calculations by Ryan O'Leary and Avi Loeb (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) suggest that hundreds of massive black holes, left over from the galaxy-building days of the early universe, may wander the Milky Way. Good news, however: Earth is safe. The closest rogue black hole should reside thousands of light-years away. Astronomers are...

2009-04-14 09:40:00

A flare-up in a jet of matter blasting from a monster black hole is giving astronomers an incredible light show. The outburst is coming from a blob of matter, called HST-1, embedded in the jet, a powerful narrow beam of hot gas produced by a supermassive black hole residing in the core of the giant elliptical galaxy M87. HST-1 is so bright that it is outshining even M87's brilliant core, whose monster black hole is one of the most massive yet discovered. The glowing gas clump has taken...

2009-04-03 07:10:00

Integral has captured one of the brightest gamma-ray bursts ever seen. A meticulous analysis of the data has allowed astronomers to investigate the initial phases of this giant stellar explosion, which led to the ejection of matter at velocities close to the speed of light. In particular, the astronomers believe that the explosion lifted a piece of the central engine's magnetic field into space. On 19 December 2004, the blast from an exploding star arrived at Earth. ESA's Integral...

2009-03-05 06:50:00

Two enormous black holes appear to be orbiting one another at the center of a faraway galaxy, formed by the collision of two separate galaxies, astronomers from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson reported Wednesday. The two supermassive black holes are locked in orbit about 5 billion light years away from Earth, the scientists said.  One light year is the distance light travels in a year, approximately 6 trillion miles. Data from Apache Point Observatory in New...

2009-01-29 09:05:00

Variations in the brightness of the Q0957+561 quasar, also known as the "twin quasar" due to its duplicated image on Earth, are intrinsic to the entity itself and not caused by the gravitational effects of possible planets or stars from a far away galaxy. This is the conclusion of a study carried out by Spanish researchers resolving a mystery that has intrigued astronomers for the past 30 years. The quasar Q0957+561, some 9 billion light years away in the Ursa Major constellation, was...

2009-01-22 09:51:30

A team of Yale University astronomers has discovered that galaxies stop forming stars long before their central supermassive black holes reach their most powerful stage, meaning the black holes can't be responsible for shutting down star formation. Until recently, astronomers believed that active galactic nuclei (AGN)"”the supermassive, extremely energetic black holes at the centers of many young galaxies"”were responsible for shutting down star formation in their host galaxies...

2009-01-07 17:22:06

Black holes may have come before the formation of galaxies, astronomers reported on Wednesday, adding information that could provide new insights into the nature of the mysterious invisible black objects. At the  213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, California, researchers said they discovered a clear link between the mass of a black hole and the galaxy where it was spotted. "It looks like the black holes came first. The evidence is piling up," said Chris...

2009-01-06 14:21:00

GREENBELT, Md., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An ongoing X-ray survey undertaken by NASA's Swift spacecraft is revealing differences between nearby active galaxies and those located about halfway across the universe. Understanding these differences will help clarify the relationship between a galaxy and its central black hole. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "There's a lot we don't know about the workings of supermassive black holes," says Richard...

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
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'