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Sev
04-07-2011, 07:01 PM
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/04/star-eating-black-hole-may-be-pr.html?ref=ra
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Star-Eating Black Hole May Be Producing Universe's Biggest Blast
by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee on 7 April 2011, 3:31 PM http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t278/Sevelli/Science/sn-galaxy-thumb-200xauto-5892.jpg http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/assets_c/2011/04/sn-galaxy-thumb-800xauto-5892.jpg
Astronomers have observed possibly the biggest blast ever seen in the cosmos. When NASA's SWIFT space observatory first spotted it 10 days ago, observers thought it was a massive star blowing up as a supernova and expected it to fade within hours or even minutes. But the high-energy radiation from the source has shown no sign of dying down, which suggests that astronomers may have caught a star in the process of being ripped to shreds by a black hole.

The blast is actually a series of bursts, like a string of firecrackers going off one after another. "We know of objects in our own galaxy that can produce repeated bursts, but they are thousands to millions of times less powerful than the bursts we are seeing," says Andrew Fruchter of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. "This is truly extraordinary."

SWIFT's Burst Alert Telescope detected the source of the bursts on 28 March. The Hubble Space Telescope took an image of the source on 4 April, which located the explosions at the center of a galaxy 3.8 billion light-years away. On the same day, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory took a picture of the source by pointing at it for 4 hours. That image also showed that the source of the bursts was at the center of the galaxy imaged by Hubble.

The position of the source within the galaxy offered a clue that the bursts might be associated with a black hole, as nearly all galaxies have a black hole in the middle. "We think that there is a dormant black hole there that has accreted a lump of matter—probably a star that has fallen into it," says astrophysicist Neil Gehrels, the lead scientist for SWIFT at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

What could be going on is the following: A star flitting too close to the black hole has been grabbed by its gravitational pull. The star's gas has been falling into the black hole, causing enormous amounts of energy to be released in the form of high-energy particles shooting out like a jet.

Although this is not the first time astronomers have witnessed a star being gobbled up by a black hole, the bursts are putting out energy far greater than previously seen. One reason for the extreme brightness could be that the jet of particles shooting out of the black hole is pointing straight at Earth.

Astronomers all over the world are working round the clock to collect more data on the event, and Hubble is snapping more images of the source. "Some spectra have been taken; there's a lot more work to be done on how the spectrum changes over time," Gehrels says. "If it really is a star being torn up, then we'd expect it to fade away in the next few days. If it stays bright for several weeks or a month, that would tell us something different. I'm not sure what that would be."
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cushioncrawler
04-07-2011, 10:31 PM
"A star flitting too close to the black hole has been grabbed by its gravitational pull."
I reckon that this iz a stupid explanation.
And that story never really sez how the bursts aktually happen.
I would look for a proper science article on it.
Not meaning to be too kritikal, but i think that ordinary pipple kan understand a proper explanation.
mac.

eg8r
04-08-2011, 07:04 AM
Wow, I guess my earth/space science teachers in high school need to get back to the books and study a bit.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Although this is not the first time astronomers have witnessed a star being gobbled up by a black hole, the bursts are putting out energy far greater than previously seen. One reason for the extreme brightness could be that the jet of particles shooting out of the black hole is pointing straight at Earth.</div></div>We were always told that nothing could escape a black hole, not even light. Now we have NASA saying that is completely wrong because this black hole is allowing the most energy ever seen to not only escape but blast out.

I had a roomate in college that was insanely smart. In 4 years he completed a dual engineering degree (ME/EE) at UF which is nearly unheard of at that time (not sure if it has changed but those programs are really tough at UF). He would spend the rest of his available day sitting in classes that he thought were interesting. One was an astronomy course one semester that had an adjunct professor that was a leader in his field at the time. I cannot remember the guy but it was a huge deal to have him teach this course. Well, my roomate decided he was going to take the class (without paying for it so it did not get credit) because of the professor. In the evenings he would tell us the cool stuff he was learning and I would drive him insane. He would talk about how far away things are or how big the other galaxies were, etc and to just screw with him I would joke that none of that crap is real. He would ask if I believed in aliens (and I don't) and I would say no but with me being a statistics minor he would start in with probabilities of aliens existing. His math was fantastic and his probabilities without a doubt would lead one (without faith in God) to believe there "could" be aliens out there. I would just respond with "No I don't think there is a chance." It would make his face go red. Well I would do the same thing with the distances and sizes that he would mention. I would give him probabilities of a chance that these astronomers have actually slipped the decimal and the numbers were not anywhere near as drastic as he thinks. This guy would get so mad he would just get up and leave. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

eg8r

Sev
04-08-2011, 07:35 AM
Now thats just mean. HAHAHAHHA!!!