nov 182012
 
Magnetism Combines with Gravity to Shape Black Hole's Environment

  With a well-deserved reputation as monstrous destructive machines, black holes owe their power to huge quantities of mass that warp space and time until the gravitational force they command sucks in everything – even light. No surprise that astrophysicists have long considered gravity the dominant player in shaping the accretion disks of dust and [continue reading]

nov 112012
 
Anne's Picture of the Day: Herbig-Haro 32

November 11, 2012 Herbig-Haro 32, a bright Herbig–Haro object in Aquila Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI) Herbig-Haro 32 (HH 32) is a bright Herbig–Haro object located some 960 light-years away in the constellation of Aquila. A Herbig-Haro object is a small bright nebula in a star-forming region, created when jets of [continue reading]

nov 052012
 
Fermi Measures Cosmic 'Fog' Produced by Ancient Starlight

  Astronomers using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have made the most accurate measurement of starlight in the Universe and used it to establish the total amount of light from all of the stars that have ever shone, accomplishing a primary mission goal. This plot shows the locations of 150 blazars (green dots) [continue reading]

okt 292012
 
Blazars Still Mysterious Cosmic Objects

  A blazar is a galaxy with an intensely bright central nucleus containing a supermassive black hole, much like a quasar. The difference is that a blazar can emit light with extremely high energy gamma rays that are sometimes over a hundred million times more energetic than the highest energy X-rays that the Chandra X-ray [continue reading]

okt 292012
 
Supermassive Black Hole Inflates Giant Bubble

  Using a brand-new radio telescope, astronomers have produced one of the best images ever made at the lowest frequencies of giant bubbles produced by a supermassive black hole. The observations were performed at frequencies ranging from 20 to 160 MHz which are normally used for communications by airplane pilots. The picture shows what looks [continue reading]

okt 222012
 
High-Speed Cosmic Jet of Two Million Lights-Years Long Found

  Blasting over two million lights-years from the center of a distant galaxy is a supersonic jet of material that looks strikingly similar to the afterburner flow of a fighter jet, except in this case the jet engine is a supermassive black hole and the jet material is moving at nearly the speed of light. The jet [continue reading]