Tech & Science super earth Black Hole supermassive black holes Black holes may shape a planet's destiny. According to new research, high-energy radiation outbursts from the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole can remove atmospheres from nearby Neptune-like planets. When that happens, say the researchers, these planets may be left with just their rocky core intact. “It’s pretty wild to think of black holes shaping the evolutionary destiny of a planet, but that very well may be the case in the center of our galaxy,” Howard Chen, a physicist at Northwestern University in Illinois, who led the study, said in a statement. The research was recently posted to the arXiv academic preprint server. Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now An artist’s impression shows The atmosphere of a Neptune-like planet is swept backward by powerful radiation from an outburst in the center of the Milky Way in this artist's … [Read more...] about Black hole outbursts could shape the evolution of planets
Black holes that form due to the collapse of massive stars typically have masses 5-20 times that of the sun, but supermassive black holes — found in the centers of nearly all known sizeable galaxies — are far bigger, at about hundreds of thousands, or even billions, of solar masses. Given the 13.8 billion years that have passed since the Big Bang, it may be enough time for supermassive black holes to grow to their gigantic sizes, but how then do we explain that some of them formed less than 800 million years after the universe came into existence? Astronomers have struggled to answer that question since these oldest supermassive black holes, in the last decade or so, were determined to be over 13 billion years old. An associate professor from University of Helsinki, Peter Johansson, proposes a new theory to solve this enigma in a paper published Monday in the journal "Nature Astronomy". “The observations of extremely massive black holes in the very early Universe are … [Read more...] about Supermassive Black Holes: How Did They Form In The Very Early Universe?
The Event Horizon Telescope, a global network of radio telescopes that aims to capture images of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, collected a petabyte of data every night of observation in 2017. That’s one thousand trillion or one million billion bytes of data. For perspective, the Library of Congress has archived more than 300 trillion bytes of data. The telescope collected more than three times that amount of data per night of observation, which was four nights in 2017. However, the collection of such larges amounts of data results in a problem for researchers. Right now, it’s more efficient to use airplanes to fly the hard drives storing that data in crates around the world for research purposes than it is to send it electronically. And to access that massive amount of data, researchers must travel to a site housing those hard drives. In 2018, the amount of data the network collects will almost double. This is just one logistical … [Read more...] about Grant will help UA develop ways to handle massive data from black hole research
The relationship between black holes and stars is a complex one. Black holes are inevitably born from stars, but not all stars become black holes. And black holes, without a shred of sentimentality toward their former kin, would tear to shreds any star that made the mistake of venturing too close. When it came to growth, it was thought that supermassive black holes that lie at the centers of most galaxies accumulated mass at roughly the same pace at which new stars were being born in those galaxies. But two new studies have shown that the largest supermassive black holes (with masses billions of times the sun) which reside in some of the most massive galaxies in the universe grow much faster than the rate at which those galaxies form new stars. One of the studies focused on calculating the ratio between those two growth rates, which was thought to be roughly a constant for all galaxies, irrespective of their mass. The researchers took data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the … [Read more...] about Supermassive Black Holes Grow Faster In Larger Galaxies, Outpacing Star Formation
While looking for an unusual star in the nearby Andromeda galaxy, astronomers instead found a pair of supermassive black holes. The binary system is the most closely orbiting pair of black holes of their kind we have ever seen. In a statement Thursday, NASA ascribed the finding to the black holes photobombing images of Andromeda (also called M31, after its position in the Messier catalog of non-cometary objects) that were taken by the agency’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, as well as optical data collected from Earth-based telescopes in Hawaii and California. Trevor Dorn-Wallenstein of the University of Washington in Seattle, who led the paper describing this discovery, said in the statement: “We were looking for a special type of star in M31 and thought we had found one. We were surprised and excited to find something far stranger!” Together, the two supermassive black holes have a mass of about 200 million times that of the sun, and are located about 2.6 billion … [Read more...] about Supermassive Black Hole Binary Photobombs Andromeda Galaxy, Tightest Pair Ever Seen