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Finally, an Average Black Hole
ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 1 July 2009 | Phil Berardelli

Posted on 07/04/2009 11:47:20 PM PDT by neverdem

Enlarge ImagePicture of black hole

Outlier. Astronomers think they have found an intermediate-mass black hole (bright blue object) just outside a distant galaxy.

Credit: Heidi Sagerud

Heavyweight and lightweight black holes abound in the universe, but nobody has detected a middleweight--and some scientists argue they don't exist. Now, astronomers say they have found the first conclusive evidence for one of these elusive objects at the fringe of a distant galaxy. Estimated to be at least 500 times more massive than the sun, the discovery could plug a large gap in the cosmic menagerie, though it leaves unanswered questions about this type of black hole's origins.

Small black holes--also known as stellar-mass black holes--form as the relics of giant exploding stars. They grow by gobbling up nearby gas, dust, and even unfortunate planets and stars that wander too close. But they have a built-in feeding-control mechanism. Called the Eddington limit, it kicks in when the massive amount of radiation spawned by the black hole matches the inflow of material. That effect limits the amount of x-rays the black hole emits, and astronomers can calculate the object's mass based on the strength of the radiation. Astronomers can also use the Eddington limit to measure supermassive black holes, which can weigh more than billions of stars.

The newly discovered object, called HLX-1, is the first to show an intermediate weight between stellar-mass and supermassive black holes. Astronomers led by Sean Farrell, formerly at the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in France, detected HLX-1, hanging just outside a galaxy about 290 million light-years away, during a search for unusual white dwarfs and neutron stars. As the researchers report tomorrow in Nature, they found that HLX-1 is spewing 10 times as much x-radiation as stellar-mass black holes normally do, suggesting that the object is much heavier. Based on its radiation intensity, the team conservatively estimates its mass at 500 times that of the sun, says Farrell, now at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

The find still leaves open an important question about intermediate black holes. "If they exist, it's not at all clear where they came from," says Christopher Reynolds, an astronomer at the University of Maryland, College Park. It's possible that small black holes that formed within a densely packed stellar cluster could merge into a midsize variety. Or, intermediate-mass black holes could be leftovers from the very earliest stars in the universe, which scientists think were much larger than today's versions. The former scenario may be more likely, notes Farrell, as observations place HLX-1 far away from its parent galaxy's center and apparently outside of the main disk--which is exactly where a tightly packed globular cluster of stars would be located.

"We must now take the existence of intermediate-mass black holes very seriously," says Reynolds. And that means getting "on with the business of figuring out how nature makes them."


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: astronomy; blackhole; blackholes; hlx1; science; stringtheory
An intermediate-mass black hole of over 500 solar masses in the galaxy ESO 243-49
1 posted on 07/04/2009 11:47:21 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: SunkenCiv

a mysterious sucking sound way out in the cosmos


2 posted on 07/04/2009 11:50:38 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Don't blame me -- I use Linux.)
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To: sig226; KevinDavis

Astronomy and Space Pings!


3 posted on 07/04/2009 11:50:40 PM PDT by JerseyJohn61 (Better Late Than Never.......sometimes over lapping is worth the effort....)
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To: neverdem

WOW’WEE!

How cool is that on edge galaxy image?!

JJ61


4 posted on 07/04/2009 11:54:40 PM PDT by JerseyJohn61 (Better Late Than Never.......sometimes over lapping is worth the effort....)
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To: JerseyJohn61

Colorized?


5 posted on 07/04/2009 11:57:29 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Don't blame me -- I use Linux.)
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To: neverdem

Based on the title, I thought this thread was about Obama.


6 posted on 07/04/2009 11:58:23 PM PDT by South40 (Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. ~Hussein Obama, Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009)
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To: neverdem

Wish I had a (much) larger image of that photo.


7 posted on 07/05/2009 12:00:39 AM PDT by dsc (Only dead fish go with the flow.)
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To: neverdem

Like in Boxing, Welter and Middle weights are seldom
appreciated and little understood.

JJ61


8 posted on 07/05/2009 12:01:33 AM PDT by JerseyJohn61 (Better Late Than Never.......sometimes over lapping is worth the effort....)
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To: South40

No, the Obummer sucks way too much to be an “average” one of these.


9 posted on 07/05/2009 12:03:11 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Don't blame me -- I use Linux.)
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To: neverdem

how do they know this is the average if this is the first one they found??


10 posted on 07/05/2009 12:03:44 AM PDT by GeronL (freeping on a PS3)
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To: dsc
I thought it looked too good. It's an artist's depiction.
11 posted on 07/05/2009 12:06:17 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Don't blame me -- I use Linux.)
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To: dsc

12 posted on 07/05/2009 12:11:27 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

“Colorized”

I’d say yes, but not “artificially”.
It maybe a combination of natural light in different
wave lengths blended together.

It would be as if you could see the entire spectrum of light.

JJ61


13 posted on 07/05/2009 12:13:11 AM PDT by JerseyJohn61 (Better Late Than Never.......sometimes over lapping is worth the effort....)
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To: neverdem
Eddington limit

Eddington limit: The theoretical upper limit to the luminosity of a star of given mass, at which the outward force of radiation on the stellar surface just balances the inward force of gravity

14 posted on 07/05/2009 12:14:59 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Not certain HTRN.

Publication photos usually differ in quality and
color tone.

JJ61


15 posted on 07/05/2009 12:22:20 AM PDT by JerseyJohn61 (Better Late Than Never.......sometimes over lapping is worth the effort....)
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To: neverdem
Ya'lls beddar stops talkn bouts me dat ways!
16 posted on 07/05/2009 12:33:19 AM PDT by BigCinBigD ('When a man believes that any stick will do, he at once picks up a boomerang,')
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; neverdem
So we have a “Middle Ground”. Just as in the Bailouts.
Not quite Too Big To Fail, yet Not Too Small To Let Fail.

This Black Hole, requires TARP funding for further
analysis.

JJ61

17 posted on 07/05/2009 12:46:24 AM PDT by JerseyJohn61 (Better Late Than Never.......sometimes over lapping is worth the effort....)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

There you go. Failing eyesight.


18 posted on 07/05/2009 1:19:02 AM PDT by dsc (Only dead fish go with the flow.)
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To: JoeProBono

Thanks.


19 posted on 07/05/2009 1:20:55 AM PDT by dsc (Only dead fish go with the flow.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
" a mysterious sucking sound way out in the cosmos ... "

Government spending and debt like a drunken sailor ....
20 posted on 07/05/2009 1:40:02 AM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM .53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart, there is no GOD.)
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To: South40
intermediate-mass black hole...

Based on the title, I thought this thread was about Obama.

And based on the content, I thought this thread was about the governor (or one of many others) of my home state.

21 posted on 07/05/2009 2:00:54 AM PDT by C210N (A patriot for a Conservative Renaissance!)
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To: neverdem

ping


22 posted on 07/05/2009 2:06:48 AM PDT by Bellflower (The end of this age is near but the beginning of the next glorious one is coming!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Photobucket
23 posted on 07/05/2009 2:54:42 AM PDT by rfp1234
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To: neverdem

Funny how the lens flare is different on different objects . . .

Faked photo.


24 posted on 07/05/2009 3:39:53 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: neverdem

A black hole, by definition, is not visible. However some of the disturbance allegedly caused by the matter rushing into the hole may cause visible effects.
In other words, no one can see a black hole.
http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-114611.html


25 posted on 07/05/2009 4:03:50 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: neverdem

Very interesting article and a stunning image.

A question: If one of these black holes is estimated to have a mass of 500 times our sun, what is the actual estimated diameter of the black hole itself??


26 posted on 07/05/2009 5:08:28 AM PDT by Bean Counter ( Shovel ready...)
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To: Leftism is Mentally Deranged
Based on its radiation intensity, the team conservatively estimates its mass at 500 times that of the sun...

"Does this event horizon make me look fat?"

27 posted on 07/05/2009 5:24:36 AM PDT by 6SJ7 (atlasShruggedInd: ON)
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To: Bean Counter
"what is the actual estimated diameter of the black hole itself??"

A close to zero as you can possibly get without actually being zero.

28 posted on 07/05/2009 5:29:00 AM PDT by jpsb
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To: jpsb

A crush of quarks?


29 posted on 07/05/2009 12:43:00 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Don't blame me -- I use Linux.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

All day I thought it was the Sunday “news” programs. ;’) Thanks HTRN.


30 posted on 07/05/2009 3:39:24 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: AdmSmith; bvw; callisto; ckilmer; dandelion; ganeshpuri89; gobucks; KevinDavis; Las Vegas Dave; ...
Thanks HiTech RedNeck.

· List topics · post a topic · FR page layout · Google ·

31 posted on 07/06/2009 1:53:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: BigCinBigD

That is really scary.


32 posted on 07/06/2009 3:45:08 PM PDT by rdl6989
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