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.

---


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


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find-even within the huge cities of the world-opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Technology

Ready to battle in Pokemon GO? Here's a beginners guide Watch

Image of Pokémon battles can only take place in Pokémon gyms (Pokémon GO).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

You've walked around town collecting Pokémon and you finally reached level 5. Congratulations! You can join a team and enter Pokémon battles! Need some help? Come read our guide. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pokémon battles in Pokémon GO aren't quite the ... continue reading


Deal with the devil? Pokemon Go has a scary clause you should know about Watch

Image of Pokemon Go contains a strict clause you need to know about.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Play Pokemon Go and you could be making a deal with the devil. At least, from a legal perspective. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - An onerous clause in the Pokemon Go terms and conditions is gaining attention as players are informed they are surrendering key ... continue reading


Live-streaming has changed the world Watch

Image of Live-streaming holds the world accountable (ThinkStock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Citizens now have access to more journalism tools than ever before - but is it a good thing? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The world was shocked when Diamond Reynolds used her smartphone to live-stream the aftermath of her boyfriend, Philandro Castile, being shot ... continue reading


End of farm labor - Aussie robot can herd cattle while robot in England harvests crops Watch

Image of Robots for farms are under intense development.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Robots that can herd cattle and harvest crops are being rolled out for tests in England and Australia. The development of these machines promises to transform the agriculture industry. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - One robot can herd cattle and pull a small ... continue reading


Juno beams back first image from Jupiter - what's to come is exciting! Watch

Image of Juno has arrived at Jupiter and will begin taking high resolution images in the next couple months.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Juno has arrived at Jupiter and the first images have been beamed back to Earth. The images are in low resolution and scientists say high resolution images are a few weeks away. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Juno spacecraft has arrived at Jupiter. The ... continue reading


Scientists sure water is flowing on Mars, seek to prove it with rover Watch

Image of Scientists are thirsty to find proof of water on Mars.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists want to take a closer look at mysterious features that suggest water flows on Mars. If water flows on the surface of Mars, then life could flourish there. All life as we know it depends on liquid water. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Scientists have ... continue reading


Scientists make surprising claim about origin of the universe! Watch

Image of Scientists cannot escape the reality that the universe needs a Creator.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new theory has scientists rethinking the Big Bang. Could the Big Bang have been more of a "Big Bounce?" LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Scientists generally agree the universe expanded rapidly within the first moments of creation. The theory, which would be ... continue reading


Is 'Pokemon Go' anti-Catholic? Watch

Image of Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game. Your smartphone superimposes the game over reality on your phone.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

America has become obsessed with Pokemon Go, an "augmented reality" game played with a smartphone. The sudden popularity of the game has surprised many. Its fantasy narrative also has Catholics asking if it's acceptable to play. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Facebook sued for role with TERRORISTS Watch

Image of Facebook is being sued for $1 billion (financialjuneteenth).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Facebook faces a $1 billion lawsuit for allowing Palestinian militant group, Hamas, to use the social media site to carry out attacks, resulting in 4 dead Americans and one wounded in Israel. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hamas is a terrorist organization ... continue reading


Virtual Actor to form 'emotional bond' - the next step in virtual reality relations? Watch

Image of Robots that display emotion are already among us (Will Ripley).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Researchers in Russia are set to reveal a computer capable of human emotions and the ability to build up trust. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to <a ... 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

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 7:1-11
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,2 'Stand ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a nest to place its ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:24-30
24 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom of Heaven may be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 23rd, 2016 Image

St. Bridget of Sweden
July 23: Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland's ... Read More