Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/23/2014 (4 weeks 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 (4 weeks 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Technology

Latest claim: the universe might not be natural... Say whaa? Watch

Image of A map of the cosmic background radiation which permeates the universe. Note the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nature and structure of the universe is one of the most enduring questions of the ages. Even the Book of Genesis addresses the topic. Presently, scientists are using modern scientific tools and methods to probe these mysteries and the preliminary results are ... continue reading


What is Microsoft up to? After this rambling memo, even its employees don't know! Watch

Image of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is planning to eliminate almost 20,000 jobs by 2015.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Software giant Microsoft announced that it is going to cut 18,000 jobs by 2015-about 14% of the company's 125,000 employees, by far the largest amount of layoffs in the history of the company. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most of these layoffs-12,500-will ... continue reading


Mars Rover finds massive iron meteorite Watch

Image of NASA has now published the combined image. A preliminary analysis has been made of what the meteorite is made from.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What will they find next on the surface of Mars? Just recently, NASA's Curiosity rover came across a massive iron meteorite half buried in the sands of Mars. The space agency has dubbed the find "Lebanon." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The two-meter-wide ... continue reading


Ever wondered why North America doesn't have any elephants? Scientists have the answer Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the earliest American natives hunted to extinction, a precursor to modern elephants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Clovis people, thought by many archaeologists to be the original native Americans, hunted to extinction the precursors to modern elephants that lived alongside them in North America, new scientific evidence suggests. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This ... continue reading


Jesuit Brother gains prestigious award for astronomy Watch

Image of Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno received the coveted Carl Sagan Award for 2014, by bringing an enthusiasm for science to the general public.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Jesuit brother has been awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for 2014 for his radio shows and public lectures on astronomy which helped generate interest in scientific inquiry among the general public. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The American Astronomical ... continue reading


Untouched by human hands: iPhone 6 made completely by robots Watch

Image of The machines that were introduced in 2011, known as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Robots are performing more and more human-like functions in the worlds of industry, and it comes as little surprise that Apple is increasingly using automations in the constructions of iPhones. Human hands attached to real living humans in the past previously ... continue reading


New Google Glass app lets users know of imminent Israeli missile attacks Watch

Image of These alerts provide similar information to the Red Alert, which is an Israel app for smartphones and tablets, which recently incorporated the popular instant-messaging app

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a new app that sadly paints a distressing picture of contemporary life in the Middle East. The app, for Google Glasses, is capable of warning users in Israel of impending enemy rocket attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Called Israel Missile Alerts, ... continue reading


IN THE DARK: Astronomers wonder what happened to 80 percent of the light in the universe Watch

Image of A $70 million instrument, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, designed by the University of Colorado Boulder and installed on the Hubble Space Telescope was used in the research.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The universe has gotten a lot darker. Astronomers have discovered an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light in the known universe and are at a loss as to why that is. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - They are forthright in saying that there is "something is ... continue reading


Psychiatric drugs may cause increase in ER visits new study suggest Watch

Image of 90,000 emergency room visits may have been caused by psychiatric drugs, a new study suggests.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly 90,000 emergency room visits have been caused each year by bad reactions to psychiatric drugs in the U.S. a new study suggests. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Anti-anxiety medicines and sedatives are among the most common culprits, and among adults over ... continue reading


Calling out the slow: Google now tracking video streaming speeds Watch

Image of This latest move arises while Internet service providers and open Internet advocates have begun to call for Web traffic to be treated like phone traffic, with no premium fast lanes and slow lanes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To anyone who spends a lot of time online, it tries one's patience. Users click on a link to watch a video . it spirals around . the clip begins . suddenly stops . begins again . the sound begins to fall out of synch . sometimes just crashing and burning, ... 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, Song of Songs 3:1-4
1 On my bed at night I sought the man who is my ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
2 Thus I have gazed on you in the sanctuary, seeing ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-2, 11-18
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Mary Magdelene
July 22: She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the ... 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