Latest Supermassive black holes Stories

2011-06-13 14:22:44

Portrayed in movies and on television most often as gateways to another dimension or cosmic vacuum cleaners sucking up everything in sight, the misconceptions surrounding black holes are many and varied. In reality, black holes form when, at the end of their life cycle, heavy stars collapse into a supernova. After a black hole forms, it can continue to grow by absorbing its surroundings. By absorbing other stars and merging with other black holes, giant black holes -- called supermassive --...

2011-05-23 07:35:00

Two UK astronomers have found that the giant black holes in the center of galaxies are on average spinning faster than at any time in the history of the Universe. Dr Alejo Martinez-Sansigre of the University of Portsmouth and Prof. Steve Rawlings of the University of Oxford made the new discovery by using radio, optical and X-ray data. They publish their findings in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. There is strong evidence that every galaxy has a black hole in...

2011-04-10 06:35:00

A galaxy's core is a busy place, crowded with stars swarming around an enormous black hole. When galaxies collide, it gets even messier as the two black holes spiral toward each other, merging to make an even bigger gravitational monster. Once it is created, the monster goes on a rampage. The merger kicks the black hole into surrounding stars. There it finds a hearty meal, shredding and swallowing stars at a rapid clip. According to new research by Nick Stone and Avi Loeb (Harvard-Smithsonian...

2011-02-25 11:55:00

When two galaxies merge to form a giant, the central supermassive black hole in the new galaxy develops an insatiable appetite. However, this ferocious appetite is unsustainable. For the first time, observations with the Gemini Observatory clearly reveal an extreme, large-scale galactic outflow that brings the cosmic dinner to a halt. The outflow is effectively blowing the galaxy apart in a negative feedback loop, depriving the galaxy's monstrous black hole of the gas and dust it needs to...

2011-01-12 13:44:18

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and University of Hawaii (UH) have discovered 16 close-knit pairs of supermassive black holes in merging galaxies. The discovery, based on observations done at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, is being presented in Seattle on January 12 at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society, and has been submitted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. These...

2011-01-10 08:29:08

Discovery gives important clues about a previously-unobserved, very early phase of galaxy evolution The surprising discovery of a supermassive black hole in a small nearby galaxy has given astronomers a tantalizing look at how black holes and galaxies may have grown in the early history of the Universe. Finding a black hole a million times more massive than the Sun in a star-forming dwarf galaxy is a strong indication that supermassive black holes formed before the buildup of galaxies, the...

2010-12-20 14:57:21

A new study from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory tells scientists how often the biggest black holes have been active over the last few billion years. The object could help scientists better understand how massive stars explode, which ones leave behind black holes or neutron stars, and how many black holes are in our galaxy and others. This discovery clarifies how supermassive black holes grow and could have implications for how the giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way will behave...

2010-11-04 11:10:00

Suzanne Taylor Muzzin, Yale University While sorting through hundreds of galaxy images as part of the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project two years ago, Dutch schoolteacher and volunteer astronomer Hanny van Arkel stumbled upon a strange-looking object that baffled professional astronomers. Two years later, a team led by Yale University researchers has discovered that the unique object represents a snapshot in time that reveals surprising clues about the life cycle of black holes. In a new...

2010-09-08 09:34:32

Team led by University of Leicester confirm presence of ultra-bright object in nearby galaxy A group of international astronomers in the UK, France and the USA, led by the University of Leicester, have found proof to confirm the distance and brightness of the most extreme ultra-luminous X-ray source, which may herald a new type of Black Hole. The X-ray source, HLX-1, is the most extreme member of an extraordinary class of objects "“ the ultra-luminous X-ray sources "“ and is...

2010-07-22 06:39:06

Scientists have found evidence that a giant black hole has been jerked around twice, causing its spin axis to point in a different direction from before. This discovery, made with new data from NASA's Chandra X- ray Observatory, might explain several mysterious-looking objects found throughout the Universe. The axis of the spinning black hole is thought to have moved, but not the black hole itself, so this result differs from recently published work on recoiling black holes. "We think this is...

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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