Recently a mysterious object redefined everything we thought we knew about black holes. First of all black holes are supposed to suck everything into them, even light. Secondly, the gravity is so strong that it was believed that nothing in the known universe could come out of a black hole.
That all changed when NASA announced that something very large exited a black hole.
So what exactly happened? Well as two of NASA’s space telescopes, which included the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array or (NuSTAR) for short, were observing this particular black hole, a large object very suddenly “launched” itself away from the middle or “corona” of the black hole. Right after this remarkable event a massive pulse of X-ray energy spewed forth from the corona. This event seems to have the scientists of earth completely baffled.
To Fiona Harrison, who is the principal investigator for NuSTAR, made a strong note saying that this type of phenomenon is unheard of and completely changes what we originally thought about how black holes function. Luckily with the level of technology that we as a race have been able to achieve, we were able to record this event. The data from this should provide now, some much-needed clues to just how black holes function and how they are structured.
Saint Mary’s universities, Dan Wilkins says that,
“This is the first time we have been able to link the launching of the corona to a flare. “This will help us understand how supermassive black holes power some of the brightest objects in the universe.”
The Milky way is immense, and in a region of our galaxy that is simply called Sagittarius A* has been generating a range of flares just about every 10 days or so. Since the passing of this past year, the activity of these flares has drastically increased, to the point of nearly every day. You may be wondering just what that means. Well, let’s look into the research from the astronomers to see just what they have been able to put together.
Utilizing the resources that the astronomers currently have at their disposal, which is 3 huge space telescopes, they have been able to piece together an extremely fascinating cosmic connection to these flares.
Gabriele Ponti, who is from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics located in Germany, made this interesting comment pertaining to the flares,
“For several years, we’ve been tracking the X-ray emission from Sgr A*. This includes also the close passage of this dusty object. A year or so ago, we thought it had absolutely no effect on Sgr A*, but our new data raise the possibility that that might not be the case.”
So in short, it seems that we have been able to observe a phenomenon that has completely changed how we thought black holes functioned. An object actually exited the corona of the black hole and afterwards a flare of x-ray energy followed suit, leaving us completely baffled.
Just recently a team of researchers were able to measure the mysterious object
With the participation of the University of Granada, a team of researchers have been able to type of structure in the vastness of our solar system, despite it being more than five billion light-years away from the little blue planet we call home.
Just to put this achievement into a different perspective, our galaxy is huge and we have been able to find an object that emits an enormous amount of energy, so much so its energy can be compared to the total energy that is emitted by the entire galaxy.
The researchers were able to achieve this feat, by using the so-called gravitational microlensing effect, which is an incident that is caused by the stars that belong to our galaxy can be utilized to magnify other tiny regions in the quasar that contains this object.
Also, through this process the researchers have been able to measure the innermost edge of the disk of matter or what they call the (accretion disk) that is orbiting around this particular quasar that is called Q2237+0305, which doesn’t necessarily roll off the tongue very well, so another name it goes by is called “Einstein Cross”. Throughout the study of the changes in the type of brightness of the four images of the said quasar.
Researcher from the UGR department of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology, Jorge Jiménez Vicente, explains that,
“the breakthrough of this work has been that we’ve been able to detect a structure in the inner edge of such a small disk at such a great distance, thanks to the gravitational microlensing effect. It would be the equivalent to detecting an Euro coin at a distance of more than 100000 kilometers.”
In our galaxy, only 1 in every 500 quasars is generally affected at all by the gravitational microlensing effect. The information that astronomers have gained from this incident will be quite useful in helping us to understand the quasars, which may be essential to helping us understand just how our galaxy was born and even evolved.
“the possibility of detecting high magnification events caused by the gravitational microlensing effect could be applied to thousands of quasars.” -Vicente
When you think about how huge this object is it really makes us wonder what it could possibly be. Let us know in the comment below what theories you have about the object.
Image Credit: news.softpedia.com
Chinese Military Satellite Smashed by Russian Rocket in “Major Confirmed Orbital Collision”
In an incident that is likely illustrative of things to come, Chinese military satellite 1-02 was smashed after it appears to have collided into the debris from a disintegrating Russian rocket.
The collision, which occurred earlier this year, shows the increasing danger of space junk such as satellite parts and other miscellaneous jetsam littering the Earth’s orbit. An estimated 8,000 metric tons of space debris pose the risk of destroying functional equipment such as weather forecasting systems, telecoms and GPS systems – and even manned space travel missions – if the problem isn’t reined in.
The fate of the Chinese satellite was uncovered by Harvard astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.
The breakup of Yunhai 1-02 was initially reported by the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron (18SPCS). However, it wasn’t until recently that McDowell found out what caused the breakup.
The astrophysicist soon found that it was destroyed by space junk that originated from a Russian Zenit-2 rocket that had launched a spy satellite in 1996. On Aug. 14, McDowell found a strange entry in a database on Space-Track.org: “Collided with satellite.”
“This is a new kind of comment entry — haven’t seen such a comment for any other satellites before,” McDowell tweeted.
“A quick analysis of the TLEs show that Yunhai 1-02 (44547) and [the debris object] passed within 1 km of each other (so within the uncertainty of the TLEs) at 0741 UTC Mar 18, exactly when 18SPCS reports Yunhai broke up,” he added, noting that this “looks to be the first major confirmed orbital collision in a decade.”
However, the Yunhai satellite still remains functional and is transmitting radio signals, notes Space.com.
The incident shows the growing likelihood of such collisions in the high-traffic, littered near-Earth orbital zone.
“Collisions are proportional to the square of the number of things in orbit,” McDowell explained. “That is to say, if you have 10 times as many satellites, you’re going to get 100 times as many collisions.”
He added: “So, as the traffic density goes up, collisions are going to go from being a minor constituent of the space junk problem to being the major constituent. That’s just math.”
A worst-case scenario of such collisions is known as the “Kessler Syndrome,” and describes the possibility of one collision setting in motion a chain of collisions. Such a disaster was the premise of the 2013 film “Gravity.”
One hopes that things don’t reach that point.
In the meantime, however, there have been a number of initiatives meant to tackle the growing problem of space debris, such as the ELSA-d spacecraft launched in a demonstration mission earlier this year.
Boston Dynamics Drops New Video Of 5-Foot Atlas Humanoid Robot Effortlessly Doing Parkour
Robot maker Boston Dynamics has released new video of its two-legged Atlas robot effortlessly completing a parkour obstacle course, offering a new display of its humanoid machines’ unsettling repertoire.
In the video, a pair of Atlas robots can be seen leaping over large gaps, vaulting beams, and even performing backflips. The robot can even be seen jumping over a board while using its arm to remain steady.
While the display seems like anything but “free” running – as the original developers of parkour had envisioned – the routine does seem like an impressive, if terrifying, display of effective coding that took months to perfect, according to the Hyundai-owned robotics firm.
“It’s not the robot just magically deciding to do parkour, it’s kind of a choreographed routine, much like a skateboard video or a parkour video,” said Atlas control lead Benjamin Stephens.
See for yourself:
Unlike its robotic dog Spot, which controversially hit New York City streets last year before being pulled, Atlas isn’t a production robot. Instead, it’s a research model meant to see how far the limits of robotics can be pushed.
In the past, Boston Dynamics has displayed the robot’s feats with videos of Atlas jogging and even busting out some cool dance moves.
Team lead Scott Kuindersma said in a statement that in about two decades, we can expect to coexist with robots that move “with grace, reliability, and work alongside humans to enrich our lives.”
Until then, some of us will continue to reserve our right to feel a bit queasy about the prospect of people being chased down by these skilled free-running (and dancing) machines.
South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash
What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?
It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.
The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.
The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.
“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”
The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.
Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.
Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.