Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astronomers may have discovered a massive black hole

11.11.2005


Astronomers from British and German universities have made a new discovery which could provide evidence for a previously unknown supermassive black hole millions of times heavier than the sun.

The team from the Centre for Astrophysics Research at the University of Hertfordshire and at the Dr Remeis-Sternwarte at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg/D have discovered a short-lived massive star, named HE 0437-5439, that is moving at a very high speed through the outer halo of the Milky Way galaxy and into intergalactic space, which has led them to suspect the existence of the black hole.

The discovery was part of the team’s Hamburg-ESO sky survey and observed with the 8.2m Kueyen of the ESO Very Large Telescope observatory on Cerro Paranal in Chile.



The finding has come as a big surprise to the astronomers as massive stars have lifetimes of only some tens or hundreds of million years and the halo does not usually host stars as young as HE 0437-5439, which the team has estimated is 30 million years old.

The position of the star in the sky has raised many questions as to how it came to be in its present location. Stars can be ejected by supermassive black holes as the one known in the centre of our Milky Way. However, a Milky Way origin of HE 0437-5439 is unlikely.

This has led the astronomers to suspect that the star could have travelled its current distance if it were ejected from the centre of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), from where at the time of the observation it was 16 degrees away.

The astronomers look forward to having these and other questions answered by forthcoming astrometric space missions such as GAIA which is due to be launched in 2011.

Work on this project was supported by the Particle Physics Astronomy Council (PPARC) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Helene Murphy | alfa
Further information:
http://www.herts.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>