Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Jets from black hole five times more powerful than brightest supernova.

Astronomers are surprised by their observations of a black hole which made its presence known by firing an energetic burst of particles into space. What's you won't believe is just how massive those jets are.

Black holes can shoot powerful jets of matter into space like the one illustrated here.

Black holes can shoot powerful jets of matter into space like the one illustrated here.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: NGC 660, black hole, supermassive, jets


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These are not little jets, squirting out from the poles of the supermassive black hole in the middle of the galaxy NGC 660, found in the constellation Pisces. Instead, these jets were so bright and powerful they were easily observed by astronomers here on Earth, some 44 million light-years away.

The burst was five times more bright than the brightest supernova ever recorded. A supernova is the explosion of a star that happens when it reaches the end of its life. Supernova explosions can be brighter than an entire galaxy when they occur. However, this jet emanating from the black hole in NGC 660 was five times brighter than the brightest supernova ever recorded - ever.

Astronomers discovered the jet by accident, by comparing images of NGC 660 takes several years apart. In one image nothing, in the other, and incredible bright spot that exceeded all expectations.

As soon as astronomers saw the initial images, they knew they had something extraordinary to look at. To follow up their initial observation, they employed several arrays of telescopes around the world. Combining the data from these ultra-sensitive instruments, they found the telltale fingerprints of a jet emanating from a black hole in the center of the NGC 660.

 This is a known phenomenon. Nearly all galaxies, including our own Milky Way, are clustered around central supermassive black holes. These black holes are far more massive than our sun by factors of millions and even billions.

As matter from surrounding space falls into the black hole it gets accelerated to extraordinary speeds, much like the way a figure skater spins more rapidly as she folds her arms closer to her body. The matter becomes very hot and energetic as it is powerfully compressed Into a smaller and smaller space, moving rapidly. Although black holes are so powerful that not even light can escape them, hence the name black holes, some of the matter can escape just before it is devoured, shot outwards from the poles of the black hole just before it's too late.

These jets have been observed coming from massive black holes all around the universe suggesting the phenomenon is common.

What scientists can't yet explain is why this jet is so many times brighter and more energetic than other similar jets.

Astronomy is filled with such mysteries. As new and improved instruments come online and new methods of evaluating data are developed, more questions than answers emerge. Astronomers say these questions are essential to understanding our universe and our place within it, as well as where we came from, and where we may be going in the generations to follow.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Technology

Astronomers discover a new 'Super Earth' proving the Kepler spacecraft still has the right stuff despite malfunction Watch

Image of Kepler has discovered hundreds of new planets, proving that planets are a normal part of stellar formation.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Kepler planet hunting probe has detected another Earth-like planet 180 light-years from the Sun. The planet is massive and hot and uninhabitable, but it demonstrates once again that scientists have the ability to detect these new worlds with increasing accuracy. ... continue reading


Anywhere in the world in four hours or less: Space plane receives approval from European Space Agency Watch

Image of Reaction Engines proclaim that the technology is the biggest step in air travel since the jet engine was invented.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A futuristic plane that could fly anyone anywhere in the world in four hours or less, as well as carry spaceships out of the atmosphere without using rockets, has come closer to reality. The European Space Agency has given approval to the Skylon plane this ... continue reading


BURP! There! Proof of life existing on the planet Mars Watch

Image of If the gas were coming from living microbes on Mars, the finding would mark one of the biggest discoveries in history.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Belches...and worse, could have just proven the evidence of life on Mars. NASA's Curiosity Rover has detected mysterious spikes of methane. These rude outbursts can't be explained away by geology or other theories. The rover has been on Mars since 2012. ... continue reading


Are you a receptionist, security guard or retail clerk? You could soon be replaced by a ROBOT Watch

Image of Royal Caribbean cruise lines have installed new bionic bars with machine robots that fix passengers their drinks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Automation works well if it spares humans from dangerous and monotonous tasks. While many have lost their line of work in assembly lines to nimble-fingered machines, the next wave of robotic replacement may soon well take the place of jobs requiring a more ... continue reading


Catch me if you can: A new device aims to catch wandering Alzheimer's patients and bring relief to caregivers Watch

Image of Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million people in the United States.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately five million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer's. 65 percent of those patients wander. They get up in the middle of the night and take off. Many times these patients get lost or injured. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenneth ... continue reading


Americans have a new champion for privacy -- Microsoft. Software giant squares off with Feds over private customer data held overseas Watch

Image of Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans concerned about their privacy have a new champion, and he comes from an unlikely stable - the ranks of Microsoft. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, is preparing to fight against the U.S. government as they demand Microsoft hand over private, encrypted ... continue reading


Scientists believe they've found first physical evidence of mysterious 'Dark Matter' Watch

Image of After the spectrum from the Perseus cluster and Andromeda were analyzed, scientists saw spikes where nothing should exist.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Scientists came up with the concept of "Dark Matter," an elusive physical property more than 70 years ago. After years of searching, scientists have now uncovered evidence that Dark Matter may in fact exist - in an area where it should theoretically exist. LOS ... continue reading


The death of political ads on TV approaches as more people turn to the internet for media Watch

Image of The political TV ad is dying as more people move online for their media.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're planning to go into politics, don't ignore the internet and what an incredibly powerful tool it is. The internet is not only essential, it is a crucial multiplier of force, allowing a candidate to maximize limited financial resources. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Water DID NOT come to Earth from comets, Rosetta probe concludes Watch

Image of The heretofore unprecedented close-up look at a comet is helping scientists answer the fundamental question of whether a bombardment of these primitive bodies brought water to Earth billions of years ago.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Europe's Rosetta mission, which made history by landing on Comet 67P last month, has come up with a controversial finding that is currently being debated by scientists. According to the Rosetta's latest findings, water did not come to the Earth from comets. LOS ... continue reading


Mars rover uncovers astonishing evidence of water, life on Mars Watch

Image of The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars. Scientists have reached the conclusion that at least some of the planet must ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter