Latest Supermassive black holes Stories

2010-07-01 06:20:00

Evidence for a recoiling black hole has been found using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, XMM-Newton, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and several ground-based telescopes. This black hole kickback was caused either by a slingshot effect produced in a triple black hole system, or from the effects of gravitational waves produced after two supermassive black holes merged a few million years earlier. The discovery of this object, located in this composite image, comes from a large,...

2010-06-01 13:25:00

Going against the grain may turn out to be a powerful move for black holes. New research suggests supermassive black holes that spin backwards might produce more ferocious jets of gas. The results have broad implications for how galaxies change over time. "A lot of what happens in an entire galaxy depends on what's going on in the miniscule central region where the black hole lies," said theoretical astrophysicist David Garofalo of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif....

2010-05-25 14:01:50

Previous galaxy merger is likely cause A team of astronomy researchers at Florida Institute of Technology and Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States and University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, find that the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center of the most massive local galaxy (M87) is not where it was expected. Their research, conducted using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), concludes that the SMBH in M87 is displaced from the galaxy center. The most likely cause...

2010-05-25 08:50:00

For over 10 years, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has repeatedly observed the Andromeda Galaxy for a combined total of nearly one million seconds. This unique data set has given astronomers an unprecedented view of the nearest supermassive black hole outside our own Galaxy. Astronomers think that most galaxies - including the Milky Way - contain giant black holes at their cores that are millions of times more massive than the Sun. At a distance of just under 3 million light years from...

2010-05-24 11:07:58

NASA will hold a media teleconference Wednesday, May 26, at 1 p.m. EDT, to discuss new results from the Swift satellite's survey of active black holes. Swift's hard X-ray survey detects supermassive black holes in the hearts of nearby galaxies that are absorbing gas and emitting energy. The survey has uncovered dozens of previously unknown active black holes that were hidden from observations at other wavelengths. These discoveries confirm theoretical ideas about how black hole activity is...

2010-05-11 10:00:00

Supermassive black holes with the mass of many millions of stars have been detected at the center of many large galaxies. A super-massive black hole acts like a lurking "monster" at the center of the galaxy which swallows the surrounding material through the intensity of its gravitational pull. X-ray observations indicate that a large amount of energy is produced by the in-fall of matter into a black hole, and ejected in powerful jets. Astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for...

2010-05-11 08:20:01

Undergraduate student Marianne Heida of the University of Utrecht has found what appears to be a supermassive black hole leaving its home galaxy at high speed. As part of an international team of astronomers, this extraordinary discovery appears in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. For her final year project, Marianne worked at the SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, used the Chandra Source Catalog (made using the orbiting Chandra X-ray...

2010-04-29 10:55:00

New evidence from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton strengthens the case that two mid-sized black holes exist close to the center of a nearby starburst galaxy. These "survivor" black holes avoided falling into the center of the galaxy and could be examples of the seeds required for the growth of supermassive black holes in galaxies, including the one in the Milky Way. For several decades, scientists have had strong evidence for two distinct classes of black hole: the...

2010-04-16 06:40:00

Black holes are thought to reside at the center of almost every galaxy, with some growing to more than a billion times the mass of the Sun. Now a team of UK astronomers believe that these supermassive black holes are commonplace, release more than enough energy to strip their host galaxies apart and in the process shut down these galaxies' star formation for good. On Friday April 16th, team member Asa Bluck of the University of Nottingham, who led this research, will explain the dramatic...

2010-03-25 14:11:54

Supermassive black holes found at the centers of distant galaxies undergo huge growth spurts as a result of galactic collisions, according to a new study by astronomers at Yale University and the University of Hawaii. Their findings appear in the March 25 edition of Science Express. As massive, gas-rich galaxies in the distant universe collide, the central black hole feeds on gas that is funneled to the center of the merger. "As a result of the violent, messy collision, the black hole also...

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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Word of the Day
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'