HITOMI, the most sensitive X-ray satellite was launched earlier this year, by JAXA, the Japanese space agency. About a month later the satellite failed due to a engineering error in its control system. Now JAXA, plans a successor mission that could be launched in 2020.
X-rays emitted from the black hole flicker following a pattern that lasts for a few months and then suddenly ends. The phenomenon is predicted by Einstein’s general relativity and now astronomers were able to measure it in such strong gravitational fields.
One of the main goals of the AHEAD project is to offer the possibility for scientists and PhD students in astronomy to visit major astrophysical institutes and data centers and perform data analysis by accessing data archives and software tools, Read More …
Astronomers observed a binary star system that contains a low-mass star and a black hole. The black hole pulls material from its companion star extremely slowly and therefore emits only a very small amount of X-rays. “It is so quiet that it is practically a stealth black hole”.
Astronomers caught a supermassive black hole consuming a star that was drifting in space. The star was eaten so fast by the black hole that the Eddington limit –the theoretical maximum speed limit that defines how fast matter can be consumed by a black hole, was briefly exceeded.
Since the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts, about 50 years ago, a complete explanation of their dynamics remains elusive. Now, astronomers have developed a new theoretical model than offers a plausible explanation for their formation.
The accretion disk that surrounds black holes emits X-rays that often show rhythmic pulses. These are known as quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) and their exact nature remains unknown.
Magnetars are the strongest magnets in the universe. 29 magnetars have been detected to date, but the exact physical mechanism(s) that creates them remains unknown. Recently, astronomers, discovered another unusual feature in one of these magnetars; a wind nebulae.
Astronomers know that supermassive black holes that live in the centre of massive galaxies are fed by hot ionized gas from the galaxy’s halo. Recent observations reveal that chaotic, cold rain is also included in their diet.
An outstanding question in modern astronomy is how can growing black holes be so critical in the formation and evolution of their host galaxy when they are billion times more compact than the galaxies in which they reside in? KMOS, an instrument operating at VLT will allow scientists to answer this question and more.