Chandra’s image of the Galactic Center (left) has provided evidence for a new and unexpected way for stars to form. A combination of infrared and X-ray observations indicates that a surplus of massive stars has formed from a large disk of gas around Sagittarius A*, the Milky Way’s central black hole (illustration on right). Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/F.K.Baganoff et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way has surprisingly helped spawn a new generation of stars, according to observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This novel mode of star formation may solve several mysteries about the supermassive black holes that reside at the centers of nearly all galaxies.
"Massive black holes are usually known for violence and destruction," said Sergei Nayakshin of the University of Leicester, United Kingdom, and coauthor of a paper on this research in an upcoming issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. "So it’s remarkable that this black hole helped create new stars, not just destroy them."
Black holes have earned their fearsome reputation because any material -- including stars -- that falls within the so-called event horizon is never seen again. However, these new results indicate that the immense disks of gas known to orbit many black holes at a "safe" distance from the event horizon can help nurture the formation of new stars.
SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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