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Archive for the 'Black Holes' Category

The Search for Hidden Black Holes

July 27th, 2006 by me

Artist impression of dust around a black hole. Image credit: ESAClick to enlarge
Look into the sky with X-ray instruments, and you’ll see a background radiation in all directions. Astronomers think these X-rays are produced by the supermassive black holes at the centres of most galaxies. But astronomers can’t find these black holes, which should be bright in the most energetic range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Maybe they’re hiding; shrouded in thick clouds of gas and dust. Or maybe something else is generating all the X-ray background radiation.

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A New View of Quasars

July 26th, 2006 by me

Artist illustration of a quasar. Image credit: CfAClick to enlarge
Some of the brightest objects in the Universe are quasars. A mystery for decades, most astronomers now believe quasars are the bright centres of galaxies with actively feeding supermassive black holes. A team of researchers have found evidence that there might be something very different at the heart of these galaxies to cause quasars. Instead of black holes consuming matter, there could be objects with powerful magnetic fields that act like propellers, churning matter back into the galaxy.

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