Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/23/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Winds whip up dust which absorbs X-ray radiation, making it dimmer to observation.

Some of the fastest winds in the universe may have been detected at the heart of a distant galaxy. Winds, whipped up by a supermassive black hole may blow at 3,000 miles per second.

NGC 5548 has a supermassive black hole in its center which is dimmed by its own winds.

NGC 5548 has a supermassive black hole in its center which is dimmed by its own winds.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/23/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Black hole, dimmer, observation, winds, NGC 5548


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The universe is full of extremes, at least when compared to phenomena we are familiar with on Earth. Winds on Earth can reach a couple hundred mile per hour inside the vortex of a violent tornado, but most of us are accustomed to breezes only a few miles per hour. However, in space, winds can blow much faster.

Scientists have long predicted that winds in space, whipped up by black holes and their gravitational impact on nearby dust and gasses would be fairly strong, but the winds observed around galaxy NGC 5548, are at least five times faster than ever thought.

St. Dominic, patron saint of astronomers.

Blowing at over 3,000 miles per second, winds blowing around a supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy are doing something unusually strange-they are dimming the black hole from observation.

Generally speaking, when something moves fast and interacts with other objects, it builds temperature and puts our more radiation. Indeed, around every black hole is an accretion disk, a disk of dust and gas that rings the equator of a black hole as it spirals into oblivion. Not all of the dust and gas falls in however, some of it is shot away from the poles of the black hole at velocities close to the speed of light.

As an accretion disk forms, the gasses become compressed and spin faster and faster, emitting increasingly powerful radiation, in the form of X-rays. We can detect these X-rays which allows us to pinpoint the location of a black hole.

Black holes usually emit large quantities of X-rays making them bright in X-ray observations, even t

Black holes usually emit large quantities of X-rays making them bright in X-ray observations, even though they do not emit any visible light.


However, these super-fast winds generated by the black hole can, at least in this one instance, obscure the X-rays coming from the center of NGC 5548, effectively dimming it from observation. Researchers might conclude that a black hole, so obscured by its own winds, may be less powerful than it really is.

Winds whip up strands of dust which absorb X-ray radiation, making it dimmer to observation.

In the case of NGC 5548, the black hole is 90 percent dimmer to X-ray observation than it should be.

A diagram shows how dust whipped up by the black hole

A diagram shows how dust whipped up by the black hole's winds obscures our observations, making it appear dimmer.


If the observations are correct, they could provide scientists with valuable clues as to how the supermassive black holes, thought to be at the center of every galaxy, interact with the region of space around them. Although these mysterious objects exist, why and how they got there remains unknown. We also know that galaxies do not have enough visible mass in them to hold together. Is there an unseen interaction that explains, at least in part, why galaxies don't simply fly apart?

Probably.

For now, scientists explain the cohesion within galaxies as a function of dark matter, an unseen source of mass that binds the galaxy together. Learning more about black holes may change the way we understand galaxies and the role black holes play in forming them.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Technology

It's time to STOP PLAYING GOD: Scienists say they are ready to create a baby using TWO MEN Watch

Image of What happens when men play God? Nothing good.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mad scientists are real and they are working hard to play God, suggesting they may now be able to create a baby from two men, and no women. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - British scientists say they can now make babies using skin cells from two men. Other ... continue reading


NASA has a plan, to make a plan, to save you from killer asteroids Watch

Image of The launch of OSIRIS-REx to Bennu is NASA's first attempt to intercept an asteroid. The craft arrives in the fall of 2018.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Since the 1990s, the public has been regaled with tales of what would happen if Earth were in the sights of a killer asteroid. In every story, the world is saved by brave astronauts who commit their lives to saving humanity. But is that how the story is likely to go? ... continue reading


Is a new star of Bethlehem about to appear in the sky? Astronomers say new star will appear in 2022 in the constellation of the NORTHERN CROSS Watch

Image of A new star will appear in the sky in 2022 in the constellation of Cygnus, which is also known as the Northern Cross.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new star is about to appear in the sky in the constellation of the Northern Cross. Scientists are predicting the appearance of a new star in our night sky in the year 2022. What does the appearance of this new star mean? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- ... continue reading


What's a spoon doing on Mars? Better yet, what are TWO spoons doing on Mars and HOW did they get there? Watch

Image of What's this spoon doing on Mars?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is a spoon doing on Mars? It's an excellent question given NASA has now found two such objects on the Red Planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- In the future, astronauts may enjoy a pint of their favorite ice cream on Mars. And it appears they won't have ... continue reading


Forget nuclear weapons, here's the REAL DANGER keeping experts awake at night Watch

Image of Biological weapons are possibly a greater threat than nuclear weapons.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Air raid sirens warn the residents of Tel Aviv that a rocket is inbound, fired from terrorist positions across the border. Residents deftly take cover, not knowing where it will land. It comes down in a residential neighborhood, then nothing happens... LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scientists create antimatter in the lab at CERN, then they blasted it with a laser. Here's what happened Watch

Image of The particle accelerator at CERN can capture traces of subatomic particles when atoms are smashed together at nearly the speed of light.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have developed a new way to study elusive anti-matter directly, using lasers. The discovery could pave the way for new experiments and help to answer an important question about the universe. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- At the creation of the ... continue reading


Cosmic water witching: Scientists discover water on Ceres Watch

Image of A false-color image of dwarf planet Ceres. Scientists have just confirmed the presence of water on the dwarf planet.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Cosmic water witching. That's one way to think of the search for water on distant bodies in the Solar System. New research now confirms the dwarf planet Ceres has water stored as ice on the surface, with a great deal more likely beneath the surface. The discovery is ... continue reading


Bible VR gives inside look to the ACTUAL site of Jesus' miraculous birth Watch

Image of Come look at the Nativity.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Join virtual tour guide Danny Herman, known as "Danny the Digger," as you take a 360-degree look through one of the holiest sites on earth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Sancuary of Bethlehem, their virtual tour will go from simple images to an ... continue reading


Supercomputer Watson promises cancer patients astonishing results Watch

Image of Can robots treat cancer better than human doctors?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Is the future of medicine in supercomputer hands? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - IBM designed a supercomputer named Watson to diagnose and treat cancer faster than a team of 15 medics working at full-capacity.According to <a ... continue reading


Scientists amazed by life-changing chemotherapy breakthrough Watch

Image of The silicone

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first treatment of its kind to help patients undergoing chemotherapy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The treatment comes in the form of a "cooling cap," which helps cancer patients preserve their hair during ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 5:1-10
1 Every high priest is taken from among human beings and is appointed to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 2:18-22
18 John's disciples and the Pharisees were keeping a fast, when some ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 16th, 2017 Image

St. Fursey
January 16: Irish monastic founder, the brother of Sts. ... Read More