Latest Black hole Stories
Observations of a nearby active galaxy using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile have shown astronomers something they hadn’t expected to see.
Astronomers from several institutions have used decades-worth of collected data to confirm theories about how stellar-mass black holes produce their highest-energy light known as hard X-rays.
Astronomers have discovered an unprecedented number of black holes in the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), one of the Milky Way’s nearest cosmic neighbors, using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Exchange of electromagnetic energy is fairly well understood. The force carrier, the photon, is readily detectable and manipulated, making the physics of electromagnetic radiation easy to study.
Astronomy is more than merely using optical telescopes to take pretty pictures of distant nebulae and galaxies. Researchers also seek to understand complex systems in the universe by observing how objects interact and what types of radiation are produced.
The European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel spacecraft has revealed that the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A at the center of our galaxy is about to get a taste of some hot molecular gas.
Stars sustain themselves by fusing elements in their core, producing even heavier atoms, releasing energy that keeps the immense force of gravity at bay. But eventually, the fusion process will no longer produce enough outward radiation pressure to sustain the star, and it will begin to collapse in on itself.
In 2011, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to a trio of researchers. Adam Riess, Saul Perlmutter and Brian Schmidt were able to determine that the speed and scope of the expansion of the universe is not so uniform as once believed.
Despite the inhospitable nature of this region, a team of American astronomers has found jets of material that typically indicate star formation near a supermassive black hole.
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...