Latest Black hole Stories
Combining a double natural "magnifying glass" with the power of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have scrutinized the inner parts of the disc around a supermassive black hole 10 billion light-years away.
In a 16-year long study, using several of ESO's flagship telescopes, a team of German astronomers has produced the most detailed view ever of the surroundings of the monster lurking at our Galaxy's heart â€” a supermassive black hole.
This composite image shows M84, a massive elliptical galaxy in the Virgo Cluster, about 55 million light years from Earth.
The powerful black holes at the center of massive galaxies and galaxy clusters act as hearts to the systems, pumping energy out at regular intervals to regulate the growth of the black holes themselves, as well as star formation, according to new data from NASAâ€™s Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
Gamma-ray bursts are by far the brightest and most powerful explosions in the Universe, second only to the Big Bang itself. So it might seem a bit surprising that a group of them has gone missing.
Cosmic explosions known as gamma-ray bursts are curiously picky about where they explode. Shunning spiral galaxies like the Milky Way, gamma-ray bursts prefer to 'go off' in oddball star systems that astronomers are just beginning to understand.
By cleverly unraveling the workings of a natural cosmic lens, astronomers have gained a rare glimpse of the violent assembly of a young galaxy in the early Universe.
For decades it was baffling. Out of the still night sky, astronomers peering through their telescopes would occasionally glimpse quick bursts of high-energy light popping off like flashbulbs at the far side of the universe.
Unique observations of the flickering light from the surroundings of two black holes provide new insights into the colossal energy that flows at their hearts.
There appears to be an upper limit to how big the Universe's most massive black holes can get, according to new research led by a Yale University astrophysicist and published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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...
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...
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...