Latest Blazar Stories

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...

2009-11-26 13:55:00

WASHINGTON -- 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,...

2009-04-23 09:32:24

An international team of astronomers has used the world's biggest radio telescope to look deep into the brightest galaxies that NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope can see. The study solidifies the link between an active galaxy's gamma-ray emissions and its powerful radio-emitting jets. "Now we know for sure that the fastest, most compact, and brightest jets we see with radio telescopes are the ones that are able to kick light up to the highest energies," said Yuri Kovalev, a team member...

2009-04-22 09:20:00

A survey by the Chandra X-ray observatory has revealed in detail, for the first time, the effects of a shock wave blasted through a galaxy by powerful jets of plasma emanating from a supermassive black hole at the galactic core. The observations of Centaurus A, the nearest galaxy that contains these jets, have enabled astronomers to revise dramatically their picture of how jets affect the galaxies in which they live. The results will be presented on Wednesday 22nd April at the European Week...

2009-03-19 09:50:00

An international team of astrophysicists using telescopes on the ground and in space have uncovered surprising changes in radiation emitted by an active galaxy. The picture that emerges from these first-ever simultaneous observations with optical, X-ray and new-generation gamma-ray telescopes is much more complex than scientists expected and challenges current theories of how the radiation is generated. The galaxy in question is PKS 2155-304, a type of object known as a "blazar." Like many...

2009-03-11 12:35:00

A new map combining nearly three months of data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is giving astronomers an unprecedented look at the high-energy cosmos. To Fermi's eyes, the universe is ablaze with gamma rays from sources within the solar system to galaxies billions of light-years away. "Fermi has given us a deeper and better-resolved view of the gamma-ray sky than any previous space mission," said Peter Michelson, the lead scientist for the spacecraft's Large Area Telescope (LAT)...

2008-10-22 09:55:00

A bit of serendipity has given astronomers a surprise view of a never-before-observed event in the birth of a galaxy. University of Florida and University of California-Santa Cruz astronomers are the first to discover the onset of a huge flow of gas from a quasar, or the super-bright core of an extremely remote young galaxy still being formed. The gas was expelled from the quasar and its enormous black hole sometime in the space of four years around 10 billion years ago "“ an extremely...

2008-06-24 10:11:12

Radio-telescope images have revealed previously-unseen galactic cannibalism -- a triggering event that leads to feeding frenzies by gigantic black holes at the cores of galaxies. Astronomers have long suspected that the extra-bright cores of spiral galaxies called Seyfert galaxies are powered by supermassive black holes consuming material. However, they could not see how the material is started on its journey toward the black hole. One leading theory said that Seyfert galaxies have been...

2007-07-31 10:50:00

An international team of astronomers using NASA's Swift satellite and the Japanese/U.S. Suzaku X-ray observatory has discovered a new class of active galactic nuclei (AGN). By now, you'd think that astronomers would have found all the different classes of AGN "” extraordinarily energetic cores of galaxies powered by accreting supermassive black holes. AGN such as quasars, blazars, and Seyfert galaxies are among the most luminous objects in our Universe, often pouring out the energy of...

Latest Blazar Reference Libraries

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 04:45:41

Active Galaxy -- An active galaxy is a galaxy where a significant fraction of the energy output is not emitted from normal stellar populations or interstellar gas. This energy, depending on the active galaxy type, can be emitted across most of the electromagnetic spectrum, as infrared, radio waves, UV, X-ray and gamma rays. Frequently, the abbreviation AGN (Active Galactic Nuclei) is used, since most of the active galaxies emit most of their radiation from a narrow region in their...

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Word of the Day
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.