Black holes

Blogs about black holes

A comparison between supermassive black holes in a normal galaxy and in one involved in a galaxy merger (Image National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the effects that a merger between two galaxies can have on a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy involved in that process. A team of researchers led by Claudio Ricci used especially NASA’s NuSTAR space telescope to study how in the last stages of galactic merger gas and dust fall towards a black hole enshrouding it and generating an active galactic nucleus.

The galaxy Was 49 (Image DCT/NRL)

A galaxy merger observed with NASA’s NuSTAR space telescope gave surprising results. The galaxy called Was 49 is being formed from the fusion of a large disk galaxy called Was 49a and a dwarf galaxy called Was 49b. The researchers were surprised when they realized that the supermassive black hole at the center of the dwarf galaxy was much bigger and more powerful than expected, going against current models regarding galactic mergers.

The quasar 3C 186 and its galaxy (Image NASA, ESA, and M. Chiaberge (STScI and JHU))

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describes the discovery of a supermassive black hole pushed out from its galaxy’s core. A team of astronomers led by Marco Chiaberge of the Space Telescope Science Institute in the USA used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the quasar 3C 186 in which this phenomenon occurred. Another interesting element is that the black hole’s movement may have been accelerated by gravitational waves.

Artist's impression of the X9 system with the view from Chandra X-ray Observatory in the inset (Image X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Alberta/A.Bahramian et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research on what appears to be a binary system including a star with the closest orbit around a black hole. A team of astronomers used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and NuSTAR space Telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) to observe this system called X9 concluding that the star, a white dwarf, takes 28 minutes to orbit the black hole.

Illustration of Fermi Bubbles and the use of quasars to study them (Image NASA, ESA, and Z. Levy (STScI))

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes a research on one of the giant gas bubbles regurgitated by the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Called Fermi bubble, it’s a type of structure still not well understood and a team led by Rongmon Bordoloi of MIT used the Hubble Space Telescope to change that measuring various characteristics of the gas inside the bubble.