Black holes

Artist's concept of a supermassive black hole with ultrafast winds (Image ESA)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the most detailed observations of incredibly fast winds that travel at speeds of up to 71,000 km/s, nearly a quarter of the speed of light, near a supermassive black hole. A team of researchers used NASA’s NuSTAR and ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescopes to observe this phenomenon at the center of the galaxy IRAS 13224-3809 recording very quick temperature changes.

Active galaxy in the heart of the Phoenix Cluster with its jets (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) H.Russell, et al.; NASA/ESA Hubble; NASA/CXC/MIT/M.McDonald et al.; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF))

An article published in “Astrophysical Journal” describes a research showing a link between a supermassive black hole and the galaxy that hosts it. A team of researchers used the ALMA radio telescope to study a galaxy in the heart of the Phoenix Cluster which has at its core a supermassive black hole that emits electromagnetic radiation jets that are stimulating the birth of new stars.

The galaxy RX J1140.1+0307 (Photo ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt)

A photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy RX J1140.1+0307 and apparently it’s a spiral galaxy like there are a lot, including the Milky Way. However, normally these galaxies have at their center a supermassive black hole, instead RX J1140.1+0307 has a smaller, intermediate-mass black hole. This is an anomaly and astronomers are looking for an explanation.

NGC 1448 in an image combining data from the Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey in the optical range and NuSTAR in the X-ray range (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey)

At the American Astronomical Society meeting the results of the study of galaxies NGC 1448 and IC 3639 were presented showing how they led to the identification of supermassive black holes at their centers. A team of researchers used NASA’s NuSTAR Space Telescope to detect the high energy X-ray emission from them and see beyond the dust and gas that hid those areas.

The region around Sagittarius A* (Image X-ray: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al., IR: NASA/STScI)

An article published in the journal “Physical Review Letters” describes a research on Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. A team of scientists from the University of Princeton and the US Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) developed a new method to create a model of the accretion disk which feeds Sagittarius A*.