Latest Supermassive black holes Stories

Astronomers Find Cosmic Lenses With Feeding Black Holes
2012-03-16 02:50:20

In space, it sometimes happens that two galaxies are aligned in just the right way that the closer galaxy distorts and magnifies the appearance of the one behind it. For astronomers, finding these alignments is like coming across giant, cosmic magnifying glasses. Now, a team of astronomers, including Daniel Stern from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has found several rare examples of this phenomenon, called gravitational lensing, in which the foreground galaxy hosts...

XMM-Newton Measures The Power Of Black-hole Driven Outflows
2012-02-28 05:01:35

A curious correlation between the mass of a galaxy's central black hole and the velocity of stars in a vast, roughly spherical structure known as its bulge has puzzled astronomers for years. An international team led by Francesco Tombesi at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., now has identified a new type of black-hole-driven outflow that appears to be both powerful enough and common enough to explain this link. Most big galaxies contain a central black hole weighing...

Image 1 - Milky Way's Black Hole Is Snacking On Asteroids
2012-02-08 14:24:16

[ Watch the Video ] NASA said on Wednesday that the giant black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy may be consuming asteroids. They studied a cloud around the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A) using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra has detected X-ray flares about once a day from the black hole for the past several years.  The flares also have been seen in infrared data from ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. Researchers said asteroids...

Abell Galaxy Cluster Harbors Sloshing Clouds Of Gas
2012-01-31 05:00:32

A Naval Research Laboratory scientist is part of a team that has recently discovered that vast clouds of hot gas are "sloshing" in Abell 2052, a galaxy cluster located about 480 million light years from Earth. The scientists are studying the hot (30 million degree) gas using X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical data from the Very Large Telescope to see the galaxies. "The X-ray images were amazing. We were able to see gas sloshing like liquid in a glass" explains...

Image 1 - Gas Cloud En Route To Milky Way's Black Hole
2011-12-15 05:40:29

[ Video 1 ] | [ Video 2 ] | [ Video 3 ] | The massive black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy is destined to be invaded by a gas cloud, creating a violent encounter, according to astronomers. The supermassive black hole in the Milky Way is close enough for astronomers to study in detail, so the encounter could provide a unique chance for scientist to observe what until now has only been theorized. The astronomers plan to find out how a black hole eats up gas, dust and stars...

Galaxy Cluster Gets Sloshed Around Like Wine
2011-12-14 04:39:49

Like wine in a glass, vast clouds of hot gas are sloshing back and forth in Abell 2052, a galaxy cluster located about 480 million light years from Earth. X-ray data (blue) from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the hot gas in this dynamic system, and optical data (gold) from the Very Large Telescope shows the galaxies. The hot, X-ray bright gas has an average temperature of about 30 million degrees. A huge spiral structure in the hot gas -- spanning almost a million light years -- is...

Early Black Holes Grew Big Eating Cold, Fast Food
2011-12-13 04:19:10

Largest Cosmological Simulation To-Date Explains How Supermassive Black Holes Came Into Existence Shortly After the Big Bang Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University´s Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology have discovered what caused the rapid growth of early supermassive black holes — a steady diet of cold, fast food. Computer simulations, completed using supercomputers at the National Institute for Computational Sciences and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center...

Image 1 - Monster Galaxies Found To Harbor Record Massive Black Holes
2011-12-06 10:40:02

Astronomers from UC Berkeley have discovered the largest black holes to date -- two monstrous abyssal voids with masses equivalent to more than 10 billion suns, threatening to consume everything in its path within a region five times the size of our own solar system. The massive black holes are at the centers of two galaxies more than 300 million light years away. Such holes could be the gravitational foundations of galaxies and clues to the fates of violent quasars, the powerful...

Supermassive Black Holes Smash Planets To Dust
2011-10-28 10:15:33

Fat doughnut-shaped dust shrouds that obscure about half of supermassive black holes could be the result of high speed crashes between planets and asteroids, according to a new theory from an international team of astronomers. The scientists, led by Dr. Sergei Nayakshin of the University of Leicester, publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Supermassive black holes reside in the central parts of most galaxies. Observations indicate that about...

Latest Supermassive black holes Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Supermassive Black Hole -- A Supermassive black hole is a black hole with a mass in the range of millions or billions solar masses. A supermassive black hole has some interesting properties differing from his low-mass cousins: -- The average density of a supermassive black hole can be very low, and actually can be lower than water's density. This happens because the black hole diameter increases linearly with mass, and consequently density drops much faster. -- Strong tidal...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Seyfert Galaxy -- Seyfert galaxies are spiral or irregular galaxies containing an extremely bright nucleus, most likely caused by a supermassive black hole, that can sometimes outshine the surrounding galaxy. The light from the central nucleus varies in less than a year, which implies that the emitting region must be less than one light year across. They are named for the astronomer Carl Seyfert, who studied them extensively in the 1940s. They are a subclass of active galactic nuclei....

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...

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