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Astronomers Edging Closer to Gaining Black Hole Image
NY Times ^ | November 3, 2005 | DENNIS OVERBYE

Posted on 11/03/2005 9:16:22 PM PST by neverdem

Astronomers are reporting today that they have moved a notch closer to seeing the unseeable.

Using a worldwide array of radio telescopes to obtain the most detailed look yet at the center of the Milky Way, they said they had determined that the diameter of a mysterious fountain of energy there was less than half that of Earth's orbit about the Sun.

The result strengthens the case that the energy is generated by a black hole that is gobbling stars and gas, they said. It also leaves astronomers on the verge of seeing the black hole itself as a small dark shadow ringed with light, in the blaze of radiation that marks the galaxy's center.

Until now, the existence of black holes - objects so dense that not even light can escape them- has been surmised by indirect measurements, say of stars or gas swirling in their grip. Seeing the black hole's shadow would require the ability to see about twice as much detail as can now be discerned. Such an observation could provide an important test of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, which predicts that black holes can exist.

"We're getting tantalizingly close to being able to see an unmistakable signature that would provide the first concrete proof of a supermassive black hole at a galaxy's center," Shen Zhiqiang of the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, a leader of an international team of radio astronomers, said in a news release. Their report appears today in the journal Nature.

Another member of the team, Fred K. Y. Lo, director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Va., said that achieving the extra resolution could take several years and would probably require new radio telescopes. In an accompanying commentary, Christopher Reynolds of the University of Maryland wrote that...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blackhole; milkyway; radioastronomy

1 posted on 11/03/2005 9:16:23 PM PST by neverdem
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: El Gato; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; ..
U.S. Sauerkraut Sales Soar on Reports it Could Cure Avian Flu

Can Kraut Cure Avian Flu? I tried to post this story.

Can Kraut Cure Avian Flu? As you can tell, it's exactly the same story as the first link. /sarc

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list. Anyone can post any unrelated link as they see fit.

3 posted on 11/03/2005 9:35:10 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

Image of actual star motion at the center of the galaxy.
Amazing to see stellar motion

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap001220.html


4 posted on 11/03/2005 9:37:15 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: RadioAstronomer

Ping


5 posted on 11/03/2005 9:37:43 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Names Ash Housewares; KevinDavis; RadioAstronomer

Thanks for the link, and two pings.


6 posted on 11/03/2005 9:39:37 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

"Until now, the existence of black holes - objects so dense that not even light can escape them"

like DU?


7 posted on 11/03/2005 9:40:29 PM PST by flashbunny (Anybody want to trade Alito back in for Miers?)
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To: neverdem
It also leaves astronomers on the verge of seeing the black hole itself as a small dark shadow ringed with light, in the blaze of radiation that marks the galaxy's center.

Isn't that what we've always kinda figured they looked like?

At any rate, progresses in astronomy are always cool --especially when photographed! Looking forward to the pics!

8 posted on 11/03/2005 9:41:57 PM PST by Drew68
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To: neverdem

They should hire Geraldo Rivera to host a TV program devoted to the first glimpse of a black hole, and...there won't be anything there!


9 posted on 11/03/2005 9:56:44 PM PST by Hayley
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To: Drew68

A picture of a black hole? Couldn't you just close your eyes and get the same effect? LOLOLOL

I really do like astronomy photos, too, but this just struck me as funny.


10 posted on 11/03/2005 9:58:07 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: neverdem

Gee, I didn't know it was that hard to get a picture of Sacramento...


11 posted on 11/03/2005 10:03:52 PM PST by BlazingArizona
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To: Art Linkletter

Thanks for the post, can't wait for the photos--btw, is it just urban legend or did the Russians actually send a team of proctologists to the first international conference on black holes?


12 posted on 11/03/2005 10:14:43 PM PST by Cruising Speed
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To: neverdem

Maybe that is why we are speeding up instead of slowing down. We are being sucked into the black hole.


13 posted on 11/03/2005 10:39:09 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: neverdem

What does this imply for physicists like Mazur, Mottolo, and Chapline, who believe that black holes don't exist? The visual signature of a black hole and a gravastar is the same, right?


14 posted on 11/03/2005 10:58:44 PM PST by Caesar Soze
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To: Caesar Soze

I only took one college course in astronomy decades ago. You need to ask someone else.


15 posted on 11/03/2005 11:05:15 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: justche

Done. You may want to check the links in comment 3 on this thread.


16 posted on 11/03/2005 11:46:36 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

Must be a hell of a flash bulb. ;)


17 posted on 11/03/2005 11:59:33 PM PST by Tall_Texan (HOUSTON ASTROS - NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 2005)
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To: metmom

Me too! And my husband's a very good amateur astronomer.


18 posted on 11/04/2005 12:33:59 AM PST by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: MissAmericanPie

And the theory continues....

Do we live in a "breathing universe that has been imploding and exploding since time eternal?

Are we on the outgoing explosion side of the cycle ...or is the universe collapsing once again upon itself into A giant black hole seeking to create a critical supermass, only to explode again into the galaxies in a neverending cycle of life?

Do I think about this stuff too much after I've been at the local bar all night?

The answer to all these questions is:
Maybe


19 posted on 11/04/2005 12:49:16 AM PST by JohnnyGunns (Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day...Give him a computer, he wont bother you for a week)
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To: JohnnyGunns

It is amazing that even with so much evidence, scientists still won't make the leap and declare that all galaxies have a black hole at their center, yet with no evidence for macro-evolution, they made that leap a long time ago...


20 posted on 11/04/2005 5:30:43 AM PST by ImaGraftedBranch (God is my Fulcrum; prayer is my lever -- Saint Therese of Lisieux)
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To: JohnnyGunns

hahaha...maybe


21 posted on 11/04/2005 7:13:21 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: JohnnyGunns

hahaha...maybe


22 posted on 11/04/2005 7:13:21 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: vetvetdoug

It's not related to black holes other than it comes under the rubric of science. Check out the bird flu links with kimchi in comment 3.


23 posted on 11/04/2005 11:49:45 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem
I believe that Kemchi makes it hard to breathe because it stinks so damn bad and the flu can't enter the respiratory tract.
24 posted on 11/04/2005 12:14:12 PM PST by vetvetdoug (Shiloh, Corinth, Iuka, Brices Crossroads, Harrisburg, Britton Lane, Holly Springs, Hatchie Bridge,)
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To: PatrickHenry

Nice video in post #4.


25 posted on 11/04/2005 12:20:30 PM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: <1/1,000,000th%

Thanks.


26 posted on 11/04/2005 12:42:05 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Reality is a harsh mistress. No rationality, no mercy)
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To: martin_fierro; RadioAstronomer

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060224.html

Isn't this what I was describing when I said a neutron star accretes material from around it, forming eventually, a surface, a planetary body with a nuclear core?

That is, assuming that is the eventual fate of RS Ophiuci.


27 posted on 02/26/2006 5:32:44 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (and miles to go before I sleep.)
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