Astronomers have measured the two most enormous supermassive black holes found so far, vast realms of titanic gravity large enough to swallow 10 of our solar systems. The black holes are much bigger than predicted, suggesting extra-large galaxies and their black holes grow and evolve differently than smaller ones.
A nearby galaxy that looks like a smiley face harbors a dark secret: It has twin supermassive black holes, not just one. This rare find could shed light on what happens when ginormous galaxies collide.
By Gregory MonePosted 12.18.2007 at 11:33 am 0 Comments
Sure, astronomers have witnessed plenty of galactic collisions, which can be pretty intense events, but the latest cosmic conflict is of a different breed.
Using a variety of space- and ground-based observatories, scientists discovered a supermassive black hole shooting a jet of particles at a neighboring galaxy. It's located 1.4 billion light years from Earth, and they're calling it the Death Star galaxy because of the powerful beam.
The eventual outcome of this long-distance shot could be positive, however. The jet might fry any planets in its path in the short run, the scientists say, but in the long run, the energy it deposits could lead to the formation of stars and planets.—Gregory Mone
Astronomers and astrophysicists have their knickers in a twist over a cosmic double helix hanging out near the galactic center of the Milky Way. The Double Helix Nebula, which was detected by NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope, is 80 light-years long and sits about 300 light-years from a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Scientists think that twisting magnetic-field lines from the galactic center have caused the nebula to fold on itself into its distinctive shape. —Martha Harbison
Link via Space.com
What do you get when black holes meet? A really big black hole.
By Greg MonePosted 12.30.2002 at 2:32 pm 0 Comments
The Paper Tracing Black Hole Mergers Through Radio Lobe Morphology The JournalScience, August 23, 2002, Vol. 297 The Author David Merritt and R.D. Ekers The Gist What do you get when black holes meet? A really big black hole.