At the heart of M87, the Virgo A galaxy, is one of the biggest black holes ever seen — about 6 billion times more massive than the sun. Scientists working with the Chandra X-ray telescope and the Very Large Array have compiled this nice new image of its insatiable appetite in action.
The ESO's Very Large Telescope, with help from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, has found the most powerful pair of jets ever witnessed ejecting from a small, stellar-sized black hole. But while the black hole (by black hole standards, anyhow) is small enough to be classified a microquasar, the jets are anything but tiny, sufficiently powerful to spawn a giant, fiery gas bubble 1,000 light years across.
If there’s one thing that’s true about all science – and especially science of the cosmos – it’s that the body of knowledge we consider to be fact is extremely fluid. A prescient reminder of this came late last week via a paper published in the journal Nature, which found that contrary to popular theory, there is indeed more than one way for a white dwarf to die.
We know that super-massive black holes can devour stars, and we know that stellar-mass black holes born of collapsing stars often anchor at the center of galaxies, but the elusive middleweight black hole is more theory than knowledge. While scientists have long thought they are hiding out there, hard evidence of their existence has been hard to come by.
Celebrating the four centuries of astronomical advancement since Galileo took his first telescopic view of the heavens, NASA today unveiled this unique view of the heart of our galaxy as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The 6-foot-by-3-foot prints were unveiled at more than 150 planetariums, museums, libraries, and centers of learning across the land, and man, is it ever a view.
NASA today released a new, panoramic mosaic of the Milky Way, and frankly, it rivals anything snapped during the Hubble's early days. Taken by the Chandra X-ray space telescope, the picture shows the massive energy released by neutron stars and black holes more vividly than any previous picture.
Scientists say black holes may pepper the universe with the stuff of stars.
By Andrew Fazekas
Posted 07.02.2003 at 1:12 pm 0 Comments
"We are all made of star stuff," said Carl Sagan, describing how dead stars birthed the building blocks of life. Astronomers have theorized that titanic star explosions create carbon, oxygen and other elements, then eject them into nearby interstellar space. Now researchers say a newly observed dispersal mechanism likened to a galactic sprinkler system may be strong enough to hurl the "star stuff" far beyond local galaxies, seeding the universe with the ingredients of life.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.