Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/27/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Black hole periodically flares up with activity as it consumes stars and clouds of dust.

Scientists have figured out why the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is so "quiet." It hasn't had anything to eat.

A supermassive black holen like the one in this artist's rendition resides at the heart of our galaxy.

A supermassive black holen like the one in this artist's rendition resides at the heart of our galaxy.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/27/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: black hole, supermassive, milky way


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy is fasting and hasn't had a big meal in the past two million years. Although that may seem dramatic, for a black hole, that is barely a space between snacks.

Black holes form when massive stars, many times the size of our Sun, fuse the hydrogen and other elements in their cores to the point that nuclear fusion can no longer occur. Without the exploding force of nuclear fusion, much of the matter in the star's core collapses inwards to a single point. The gravitational force becomes so great that no energy, not even light, can escape the overwhelming gravitational pull of the black hole.

Likewise, in the center of most galaxies, including our own, there reside supermassive black holes with masses hundreds of millions of times that of our Sun. How they formed is still unclear, but their effect is all the same. Anything that passes close enough gets ripped apart and falls towards the black hole. Some of the matter is consumed, and some of it is belched out in a cosmic blast at near-relativistic speeds.

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is four million times the mass of our Sun and just two million years ago was spewing jets of matter from its poles.

Supermassive black holes like the one depicted here can stream jets into space. These jets can spur

Supermassive black holes like the one depicted here can stream jets into space. These jets can spur the formation of new stars and even entire solar systems.


This spewing of matter by means of polar jets is common and it is one of the ways in which scientists can detect black holes. Although black holes emit no light, they can be detected by the spiraling gasses which are compressed and accelerated around them as they spiral into the black hole. Those gasses emit radiation such as x-rays and gamma rays that can be detected on Earth. Some of those gasses end up in the cosmic jets spewing away from each pole.

Astronomers say they have now clearly observed speeding gasses from the poles of our own black hole. Although the black hole isn't spewing jets now, it did two million years ago. Those gasses are still streaming above and below our galaxy and can be observed with the right equipment.

These jets are activated each time the black hole consumes matter. The galatic center is filled with a swirling mass of stars and dust, but many of these objects stay far enough away they aren't consumed by the black hole, they just orbit as a respectful distance. However, occasionally a star is perturbed by other stars or clouds of dust and gas fall inwards and end up in the death grip of the black hole.

When that happens with enough material, the black hole will "switch on" on its polar jets, ejecting some of the matter above and below.

Understanding that this phenomenon occurs right in our cosmic backyard will help astronomers understand black holes better. It is thought they play a central role in the formation of galaxies and possibly even life itself.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Hundreds of iPhone users hit with worrisome 'blue screen of death' Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Complaints have piled up against Apple iPhones, reaching social media, after several iPhones of various models were hit by the "blue screen of death" just before rebooting without any notice. The random occurrences became somewhat of an outbreak, after people revealed ... continue reading


Samsung's amazing new technology promises to help lower car accident fatalities Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Traffic accidents are horrifying and in an effort to prevent road accidents involving trucks, Samsung has introduced its new product, the "Safety Truck." The common response of drivers annoyed by a blocked view of a slow running big truck is they want to get ahead, but ... continue reading


Tokyo's Lexus creates levitating hoverboard -- A reality? Or another hoax? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You may find it hard to believe, but a working model for a hoverboard is actually here. The Tokyo branch of Lexus in Japan has developed a model for the hoverboard. It seems to act like magic - at least for now - as the hoverboard promises to carry a person using ... continue reading


Facial recognition technology taking over the world, even APPEARING IN CHURCHES Watch

Image of Facial recognition technology can identify you, even if you're not completely facing a camera.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Companies and events are utilizing facial recognition technology to identify a person's face, even if the face is partially hidden. Facebook uses their vast facial recognition database, which can recognize a face even when it's hidden. Google's new Photos app can now ... continue reading


Strange new COCKROACH ROBOT squeezes through impenetrable gaps Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have created a robot based on a cockroach. The new technology is so innovative; it is hard not to find yourself stunned to witness the cockroach bot escape into an extremely miniscule gap. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Extra-terrestrial life exists - but not at Area 51 Watch

Image of There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden. He was on hand to greet a crowd of curious British schoolchildren, and said that there are so many planets like our ... continue reading


Is there water - and life on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons? Watch

Image of Jupiter is about 390 million miles from Earth when the two planets are at their closest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europa, one of Jupiter's larger moons, and is approximately the size of Earth's moon. Many astronomers say the moon has the greatest potential for life in our solar system. To this end, NASA is planning a more in-depth study and mission to this mysterious ... continue reading


Is a 706 MPG car possible? BMW hopes of creating stunning new electric car Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several months after the release of BMW's i8 hybrid sports car, rumors are circulating about a new model. According to the rumors', the German automaker is currently focusing on the development of a more efficient model than the previous i8. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


'Jurassic World' creates fear of bioengineered animals in real life Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Jurassic World," the fourth installment of Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park", took takes place on Isla Nubar. Fans will remember that Isla Nubar was where the first "Jurassic Park" movie took place, 22 years ago. "Jurassic World" showcases a world where dinosaurs ... continue reading


HALF HUMAN? Google engineer predicts humanity will be hybrid - by 2030's Watch

Image of By the time we get to the late 2030s or the early 2040s, Ray Kurzweil believes our thinking will be predominately non-biological . man becoming machine.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Google engineer and scarily accurate futurist Ray Kurzweil sees human consciousness gradually becoming part of an immense cloud and that humans will be able to "back up their brains" as a result. While this seems fantastical and hard to believe, Kurzweil ... 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, Genesis 21:5, 8-20
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:7-8, 10-11, 12-13
7 The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:28-34
28 When he reached the territory of the Gadarenes on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 1st, 2015 Image

Bl. Junipero Serra
July 1: Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November ... 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