Newfound clouds of gas that stream from gigantic black holes may dictate the pace of star formation in the galaxies around them and the growth of the black holes themselves, according to a new study.
These outflows of gas appear to feed on matter that would otherwise fall into an expanding supermassive black hole, halting its growth. As they travel outward, the clouds may also sweep away the raw materials that form new stars in a vast, roughly spherical area known as the galaxy's bulge, slowing the pace of star formation in the process.
"They have the potential to play a major role in transmitting feedback effects from a black hole into the galaxy at large," study leader Francesco Tombesi, from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a statement.
Most spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way, are thought to contain supermassive black holes lurking in their centers.
The supermassive black holes in active galaxies can produce narrow particle jets (orange) and wider streams of gas (blue-gray) known as ultra-fast outflows, which are powerful enough to regulate both star formation in the wider galaxy and the growth of the black hole. Inset: A close-up of the black hole and its accretion disk.
CREDIT: ESA/AOES Medialab
This animation compares the X-ray 'heartbeats' of GRS 1915 and IGR J17091, two black holes that ingest gas from companion stars. GRS 1915 has nearly five times the mass of IGR J17091, which at three solar masses may be the smallest black hole known. A fly-through relates the heartbeats to hypothesized changes in the black hole's jet and disk. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
Download this video and related content from NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio.
Presentation by NOVA and PBS:
Watch The Fabric of the Cosmos: Quantum Leap on PBS. See more from NOVA.
We strongly suggest you use a few minutes to see what Hubble telescope has revealed us from the size of the Universe.
This powers of then reveals the emptiness of it all, be it material world or the universe. If you watched the above the first part of this video is somewhat repetitive but the second part dives into the microscope and towards the individual atoms themselves and their building blocks. What are the atoms? Even they are built from still smaller particles, perhaps even from pure energy itself. As you may remember from the high school the sun light has a dual nature: a wave form and a particle form (photons) - so it seems. it can be broken to a colorful rainbow with any angled glass or prism. it rotates physically a black white "wind" mill inside a vacuum, it can also be stopped with two polarized lenses that are in 90 degree angle from each others. However, we can never see these photons. With this is only fair to conclude that the units we call atoms represent only a "frozen" form of energy!
Most people will never realize nor understand that the material world around us is just empty space like the whole universe. What we see and touch is just different colored energy fields. The only solid looking stuff we have found is in the nucleus of an atom and we know that that is not solid either.
What is the limit on the way down in scale? We have no idea as we have no means to see further down in dimensions. We have also another problem with everything in this atomic nucleus world. Nothing stays in one spot - everything is in constant motion or should we call everything is simply "alive".
Dec 9, 2011: NASA's Dawn spacecraft spent the last four years voyaging to asteroid Vesta – and may have found a planet.
Vesta was discovered over two hundred years ago but, until Dawn, has been seen only as an indistinct blur and considered little more than a large, rocky body. Now the spacecraft's instruments are revealing the true complexity of this ancient world.
"We're seeing enormous mountains, valleys, hills, cliffs, troughs, ridges, craters of all sizes, and plains," says Chris Russell, Dawn principal investigator from UCLA. "Vestais not a simple ball of rock. This is a world with a rich geochemical history. It has quite a story to tell!"
Astronomers fully expected Comet Lovejoy to meet a fiery death – and with good reason. After all, it was about to fly through the Sun’s atmosphere where temperatures reach a staggering 1.1millionC.
But this week stargazers were astonished when the 660-foot-wide icy rock disappeared around the back side of the sun, coming within 87,000 miles of its surface, and emerged triumphantly out the other side.
Lovejoy was supposed to vaporize but no. It passed closer to the Sun than the Earth is to the Moon, enjoy:
Lovejoy was only discovered on November 27 this year and was named after the amateur Australian astronomer who spotted it, Terry Lovejoy.
It is classed as a ‘Kreutz sungrazer’, which is a class of comet whose orbit comes very close to the Sun.