jan 282013
 
Possible Birth Of A Quasar Witnessed

  Sighting may help improve understanding of the early Universe   Scientists in Australia believe they’ve identified a quasar in the process of lighting up, for the very first time. This discovery could help scientists answer lingering questions about how these exceptionally bright celestial bodies form, and how they helped the ancient Universe shape today’s galaxies. [continue reading]

jan 172013
 
Black Holes Grow Faster Than Thought

  Astronomers from Swinburne University of Technology have discovered how supermassive black holes grow – and it’s not what was expected. A black hole in a star cluster. Image Credit: Gabriel Perez Diaz For years, scientists had believed that supermassive black holes, located at the centers of galaxies, increased their mass in step with the growth of their [continue reading]

dec 272012
 
More Active Black Holes Than Thought

  Very sensitive, wide-field observations with a worldwide network of radio telescopes have uncovered supermassive black holes residing in the center of dust obscured galaxies. In some cases, the amount of dust is so large that even x-rays from the accreting black holes are absorbed in these systems. This is the result of research done by astronomers [continue reading]

nov 102012
 
Galaxies without Stars...

  The problem of the missing hydrogen in the early Universe   Hydrogen is the most common element in the Universe, making up 75% of all normal matter and the content of stars. Although stars themselves are hot, they can only form out of the coldest gas when a massive cloud of hydrogen can collapse [continue reading]

nov 062012
 
The Milky Way's Black Hole is Suddenly Eating a Lot More

  As black holes go, Sagittarius A* is relatively low-key. The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy emits very little energy for its size, giving off roughly as much energy as the Sun, even though it is 4 billion times as massive. This false-color image shows the central region of our Milky [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]