Black holes

Blogs about black holes

Chandra Deep Field-South and illustration of a supermassive black hole (Image X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Rome/E.Pezzulli et al. Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research about the growth mechanisms of supermassive black holes. A team of six Italian researchers led by Edward Pezzulli, a PhD student of the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) in Rome proposed a model that predicts that these objects can reach masses even billions of times the Sun’s not with a steady growth but with periodic “meals” that are very quick during whith they swallow huge amounts of materials.

The area where the star N6946-BH1 used to be before and after its disappearance (Image NASA/ESA/C. Kochanek (OSU))

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the discovery of a massive star called N6946-BH1 that collapsed and seems to have formed a black hole directly without exploding into a supernova. A team of astronomers led by Christopher Kochanek used the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona and NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to observe for the first time this phenomenon, which could explain why there are less supernovae than expected.

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.