Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




TIME AND SPACE
Watching for a black hole to gobble up a gas cloud
by Staff Writers
Chicago IL (SPX) Apr 08, 2014


A simulation of the gas cloud G2's encounter with the supermassive black hole Sgr A*. The blue lines mark the orbits of the so-called "S" stars that are in close orbits around the black hole. Image courtesy ESO/MPE/Marc Schartmann.

Right now a doomed gas cloud is edging ever closer to the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. These black holes feed on gas and dust all the time, but astronomers rarely get to see mealtime in action.

Northwestern University's Daryl Haggard has been closely watching the little cloud, called G2, and the black hole, called Sgr A*, as part of a study that should eventually help solve one of the outstanding questions surrounding black holes: How exactly do they achieve such supermassive proportions?

She will discuss her latest data at a press briefing, "Advances in Astrophysics," to be held at 11 a.m. EDT Sunday, April 6, in Gwinnett Room of the Savannah International Convention Center. The briefing is part of the American Physical Society (APS) April Meeting in Savannah, Ga.

The closest approach between the black hole and gas cloud is predicted to occur any day now. Haggard has been using two world-class observatories, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Very Large Array, to gather data on this potentially spectacular encounter.

"Our most recent Chandra observation does not show enhanced emission in the X-rays," Haggard said. "From the X-ray perspective, the gas cloud is late to the party, but it remains to be seen whether G2 is fashionably late or a no show."

At the APS meeting, she also will make a presentation, "Hot News from the Milky Way's Central Black Hole," as part of the session "Hot Topics in Astrophysics" from 3:30 to 5:18 p.m. EDT Sunday, April 6, in Chatham Ballroom C of the convention center.

"This work is fascinating because it will teach us about the growth and feeding of supermassive black holes," said Haggard, a postdoctoral fellow in Northwestern's Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA). "We know they are big, and we know they are out there -- in vast numbers -- but we aren't sure in detail how they get their mass.

"Do they grow rapidly when they are young, like our kids do, or do they grow in fits and starts, whenever fuel becomes available? In watching the encounter between Sgr A* and G2 we may catch a massive black hole in the act of snatching its next meal," she said.

In her presentation, Haggard will show recent data from Chandra (X-rays) and the VLA (radio waves), including the largest flare ever seen from Sgr A*.

"Sgr A* and the newly discovered magnetic neutron star, SGR J1745-29, which appears to be in orbit around the black hole, are dishing out lots of interesting science," Haggard said.

"We've detected the brightest X-ray flare yet observed from Sgr A* and gathered data that are causing us to overhaul of our understanding of the neutron star population in the galactic center."

.


Related Links
Northwestern University
Understanding Time and Space






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TIME AND SPACE
Black hole makes 'String of Pearls' clusters
Melbourne, Australia (SPX) Apr 03, 2014
Huge young star clusters resembling a string of pearls around a black hole in the centre of a galaxy 120 million light-years away have been discovered by researchers at Swinburne University of Technology. The galaxy, called NGC2110, is in the constellation of Orion. Using the giant Keck telescopes in Hawaii, the researchers, Professor Jeremy Mould and PhD student Mark Durre from Swinburne' ... read more


TIME AND SPACE
Science, Discovery Channels to broadcast private race to the moon

Take the Plunge: LADEE Impact Challenge

Land a Lunar Laser Reflector Now!

New research finds 'geologic clock' that helps determine moon's age

TIME AND SPACE
NASA's rover Curiosity discovers Australia on Mars, sort of

Curiosity Scoping Out Next Study Area

Health risks of Mars mission would exceed NASA limits

Mars and Earth move closer together this month

TIME AND SPACE
China, Asia-Pacific, will power world tourism: survey

Using ethic frameworks for decisions about health standards on long duration spaceflights

NASA suspends Russia ties, except on space station

NASA Marks Major Milestone for Spaceport of the Future

TIME AND SPACE
China launches experimental satellite

Tiangong's New Mission

"Space Odyssey": China's aspiration in future space exploration

China to launch first "space shuttle bus" this year

TIME AND SPACE
ISS conducts debris avoidance maneuver

Russia regrets NASA halting cooperation, warns of impact on ISS

NASA to hurt itself by cutting ties with Russia

Soyuz Docking Delayed Till Thursday as Station Crew Adjusts Schedule

TIME AND SPACE
The DZZ-HR satellite is fueled for Arianespace's upcoming Vega launch

EUTELSAT 3B Mission Status Update

Soyuz ready for Sentinel-1A satellite launch

Boeing wins contract to design DARPA Airborne Satellite Launch

TIME AND SPACE
Lick's Automated Planet Finder: First robotic telescope for planet hunters

Space Sunflower May Help Snap Pictures of Planets

NRL Researchers Detect Water Around a Hot Jupiter

UK joins the planet hunt with Europe's PLATO mission

TIME AND SPACE
World's most powerful VHF radar to be overhauled in Russia

Overcoming structural uncertainty in computer models

NASA Awards Digital Processor Assembly Contract for LCRD Flight Payload

Materials and electronics that dissolve when triggered




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.