Image: Gemini Observatory
Some galaxies may have torus envy, if a new study is any indication. The most sensitive imaging yet of nearby galaxy M87’s core reveals that the black hole residing there has either a nonexistent or much fainter ring of dust around it compared with its peers. Scientists had thought that these rings were key features of such highly energetic galaxies. The puzzling finding appears today in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The current model of active galaxies such as M87 posits that each one harbors at its center a black hole many millions or even billions of times more massive than our own sun, all packed into a space about the size of our solar system. A disk of gas and dust drawn in by the black hole pours x-rays and ultraviolet radiation outward, where they strike a cooler layer of material, the torus, making it glow in the infrared. Everything should get bigger as the black hole gets bigger, team member Eric Perlman of the University of Maryland comments.
But when the astronomers trained the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii onto M87, scanning it for infrared emissions, they found evidence of at best a meager torus—one that, if there at all, is at least 1,000 times fainter than that of Centaurus A, another, less powerful active galaxy. "That was a big surprise, [to find out] it was that much fainter," Perlman says. "What I think this means is there’s a lot more variety in active galaxies than we thought." A previous study hinted that M87’s torus might be a little weak, he notes, but it didn’t have the sensitivity to confirm that.
JR Minkel | Scientific American
The moon is front and center during a total solar eclipse
24.07.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Superluminous supernova marks the death of a star at cosmic high noon
24.07.2017 | Royal Astronomical Society
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences