Researchers at JPL and Caltech have developed an instrument for exploring the universe and the quantum world. This new type of amplifier (a device that increases the strength of a weak signal) boosts electrical signals and can be used for everything from studying stars, galaxies and black holes to exploring the quantum world and developing quantum computers. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This composite image shows the central region of the spiral galaxy NGC 4151. X-rays (blue) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are combined with optical data (yellow) showing positively charged hydrogen (H II) from observations with the 1-meter Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope on La Palma.
An international team of astronomers has identified a candidate for the smallest-known black hole using data from NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The evidence comes from a specific type of X-ray pattern, nicknamed a “heartbeat” because of its resemblance to an electrocardiogram. The pattern until now has been recorded in only one other black hole system.
The star-forming region, 30 Doradus, is one of the largest located close to the Milky Way and is found in the neighboring galaxy, Large Magellanic Cloud. About 2,400 massive stars in the center of 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula, are producing intense radiation and powerful winds as they blow off material.
Scientists have witnessed a massive black hole swallowing up and ripping apart a star. A powerful beam of energy that had crossed 3.8billion light years of space was the last gasp of the ill-fated star. The bright flash of gamma rays was detected by the Swift satellite within the constellation of Draco.
A galaxy’s core is a busy place, crowded with stars swarming around an enormous black hole. When galaxies collide, it gets even messier as the two black holes spiral toward each other, merging to make an even bigger gravitational monster.