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UM Scientists Hear ‘Scream’ As Star Is Devoured By Black Hole
CBS Detroit ^ | August 6, 2012 6:16 PM | Matt Roush

Posted on 08/07/2012 3:26:22 PM PDT by null and void


ANN ARBOR — Astrophysicists have detected, for the first time, the oscillating signal that heralds the last gasps of a star falling victim to a previously dormant supermassive black hole.

Led by researchers at the University of Michigan, the team documented the event with the Suzaku and XMM-Newton orbiting X-ray telescopes. These instruments picked up semi-regular blips in the light from a numerically-named galaxy 3.9 billion light years away in the northern constellation Draco the dragon.

The blips, scientifically known as “quasiperiodic oscillations,” occurred steadily every 200 seconds, but occasionally disappeared. Such signals have often been detected at smaller black holes and they’re believed to emanate from material about to be sucked in, explained Rubens Reis, an Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow at UM and first author of a paper on the work published last week in Science Express.

“In order for the black hole to feed from a star that its gravity has broken apart, the remains of the star must form an accretion disk surrounding the black hole,” Reis said. “The disk gets heated up and we can see emissions from the disk very close to the black hole in X-rays. As this matter is falling in, it gives a quasiperiodic wobble and that’s the signal we detected.”

“You can think of it as hearing the star scream as it gets devoured, if you like,” added Jon Miller, astronomy professor at UM and a co-author of the paper.

The researchers liken the signal to a sound because it repeats at a characteristic frequency, which they say would sound like an ultra-low D-sharp.

Scientists were able to “see” this event with NASA’s Swift Gamma-ray Burst Telescope last year, but they didn’t detect the oscillations at that time. Oscillations have been documented in stellar mass black holes having masses about ten times that of the Sun in our own Milky Way Galaxy. They have also been observed emanating from a supermassive black hole at the core of a nearby active galaxy.

Scientists have never identified a quasiperiodic signal from a latent galactic core that had reactivated, nor had they ever observed an event like this so far away.

“Our discovery opens the possibility of studying orbits close to black holes that are very distant, and it could make it possible to study general relativity under extreme settings,” Miller said.

For Reis, the findings confirm the constancy of black hole physics.

“This is telling us that the same physical phenomenon we observe in stellar mass black holes is also observed in black holes a million times the mass of the sun, and also for black holes that were previously asleep,” he said. “It speaks to the invariant nature of physics, which I think is very beautiful.”

The researchers detected the quasiperiodicity in the signals from both the joint Japanese and NASA Suzaku and the ESA’s XMM Newton orbiting observatories. To confirm that the signal was not just noise, they created a power spectrum of the signals, which involved counting the number of photons the telescopes received from the source as a function of time. It’s a way to quantify slight fluctuations in the light that might not otherwise be detectable. Their power spectrum confirmed the existence of the quasiperiodic oscillations in the signal. The event was originally detected with NASA’s Swift Gamma-ray Burst Telescope operated by Goddard Space Flight Center.

The paper is titled “A 200 s quasi-periodicity following the tidal disruption of a star by a dormant black hole.” The work was funded by NASA.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: astronomy; nasa; science; stringtheory
... as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
1 posted on 08/07/2012 3:26:26 PM PDT by null and void
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To: null and void
the last gasps of a star falling victim

Let me know when the MSM decides to anthropomorphize the "blob of cells" that some people call "a baby".

2 posted on 08/07/2012 3:30:02 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Roger Taney? Not a bad Chief Justice. John Roberts? A really awful Chief Justice.)
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To: null and void

That scream will be the reaction of their football team after playing Alabama in a few weeks.


3 posted on 08/07/2012 3:31:42 PM PDT by alancarp (Liberals are all for shared pain... until they're included in the pain group.)
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To: null and void

Darn! You beat me to it.


4 posted on 08/07/2012 3:31:42 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: null and void

Horton hears a “Who?”


5 posted on 08/07/2012 3:32:00 PM PDT by Not now, Not ever! (Girlfriend suggested I use pelosi in place of swear words, A good idea, I think)
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To: null and void
an·thro·po·mor·phism/ˌanTHrəpəˈmôrˌfizəm/

Noun: The attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object.

6 posted on 08/07/2012 3:33:21 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Bryanw92

With some thread titles the jokes just write themselves.


7 posted on 08/07/2012 3:33:41 PM PDT by elcid1970 (Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind. Deus vult!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

>>Let me know when the MSM decides to anthropomorphize the “blob of cells” that some people call “a baby”.

They’ll anthropomorphize animals, planets, and even stars, but until that blob of cells starts voting Democrat, it is nothing to them.


8 posted on 08/07/2012 3:33:55 PM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: null and void

9 posted on 08/07/2012 3:34:31 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: null and void

Star Wars?


10 posted on 08/07/2012 3:35:04 PM PDT by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: null and void
UM Scientists Hear ‘Scream’ As Star Is Devoured By Black Hole

It was warned to stay away from Detroit.
11 posted on 08/07/2012 3:35:59 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: null and void

The movie was wrong?

12 posted on 08/07/2012 3:36:28 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: null and void
It's just Shatner chewing the curtains again...


13 posted on 08/07/2012 3:36:48 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (This too, shall pass, unless we're in Harry Reid's Senate and "this" is a budget.)
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To: null and void
"... as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced."

A disturbance in the Force?

14 posted on 08/07/2012 3:40:22 PM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: null and void
Scientists Hear ‘Scream’ As Star Is Devoured By Black Hole

Hopefully, this will also happen in Hollywood as Obama's tax policies kick in.
15 posted on 08/07/2012 3:41:21 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (I'm for Churchill in 1940!)
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To: null and void

AN “ultra-low D-sharp”??

HOW do they know that’s not the black hole BURPING???;)


16 posted on 08/07/2012 3:42:56 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: null and void

Ah...the answer to the age old qustion, do falling stars scream.

Next up, if a tree fall in the forrest.....


17 posted on 08/07/2012 3:43:11 PM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: Bryanw92

They might start registering them as voters. Don’t give them any ideas.


18 posted on 08/07/2012 3:47:50 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: Frank_2001
:-D )))

Excellent.

19 posted on 08/07/2012 3:49:02 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: ClearCase_guy
Let me know when the MSM decides to anthropomorphize the "blob of cells" that some people call "a baby".

First thought in my mind as well. They care more about a screaming star then a the pain felt by an aborted baby.

20 posted on 08/07/2012 3:50:58 PM PDT by madison10
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To: null and void
Black Holes are nothing but mathematical constructs, impossible to see (like 'dark matter', etc.; this sounds like academics trying to justify their pet theory (for continued funding).

For the record; I adhere to the electric/plasma universe theory (more precisely plasma/fractal universe theory).

21 posted on 08/07/2012 3:55:29 PM PDT by the anti-liberal
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To: F15Eagle

And think, they did this movie on such a shoestring budget compared to today. They made so, so much money on that movie hundreds of times over what it cost to make it. Pinewood Studios in England. Couple million bucks back in 1976-77. Scott - a first time movie director then - picked a cast of no huge established stars. Most went on to become big stars.


22 posted on 08/07/2012 3:57:02 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: All

Your Monthly and Quarterly
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23 posted on 08/07/2012 3:58:11 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Frank_2001

Stellar farts, perhaps? No more of those cosmic burritos...


24 posted on 08/07/2012 4:00:48 PM PDT by Noumenon (Obama 2012: Zimbabwe without the airfare)
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To: Secret Agent Man

It was great fun. College buddy and I went.

Then we grabbed the girlfriends and took them the following week.

Those multiple nuclear explosions sure made a mess of commercial towing vehicle Nostromo, though.


25 posted on 08/07/2012 4:04:28 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: null and void

Ok, I’ll bite. What is a dormant black hole?


26 posted on 08/07/2012 4:12:48 PM PDT by sphinx
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To: null and void
Why did Jim ban Quix?

He would have loved this.

And how is the banning of Quix any different than the banning of Chick-Fil-A from Chicago, Boston or San Fran?

Isn't this all about Freedom of Speech?

27 posted on 08/07/2012 4:14:49 PM PDT by RoosterRedux (Obama: "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.")
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To: null and void

Global Warming- is there anything it can’t do?


28 posted on 08/07/2012 4:29:57 PM PDT by NativeSon ( Grease the floor with Crisco when I dance the Disco)
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To: null and void

Nope, not gonna do it... Not one joke about Mooch Obama, not one...wouldn’t be prudent.


29 posted on 08/07/2012 5:22:54 PM PDT by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: sphinx

One that has absorbed all the local matter and isn’t actively feeding.


30 posted on 08/07/2012 6:10:15 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1295 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: the anti-liberal
Black Holes are nothing but mathematical constructs, impossible to see

Impossible to see directly.

Very observable indirectly, we can see the orbits of stars near out galactic center. We know they are orbiting something VERY massive and small, and black.

We can see matter compressing and heating up as it tries to all fall into a tiny spot, like all the attendees in a flaming theater trying to get through a single door.

We can see gravitational lensing of background stars and galaxies that happen to to be in the same line of sight.

31 posted on 08/07/2012 6:18:54 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1295 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: RoosterRedux
Why did Jim ban Quix?

Because Quix would not (or perhaps could not?) follow the rules despite repeated reminders.

He would have loved this.

Yes he would have, and I would have pinged him.

And how is the banning of Quix any different than the banning of Chick-Fil-A from Chicago, Boston or San Fran?

Vastly. The mayors don't own Chicago, Boston, or San Fransisco.

Isn't this all about Freedom of Speech?

Almost. Quix is free to speak his mind on several other sites, and is free to set up his own site should he choose.

He is not free to say anything he wants on FR, as he does not own FR.

Look at it this way, I have freedom of speech, I can say anything I wish. Would you allow me to say anything I wanted to you, your wife, your kids and you over your dinner table, eating your food in your house?

If not, why not?

32 posted on 08/07/2012 6:31:59 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1295 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: RoosterRedux

Oh, and just so you know, I called Quix after he was banned, and he seemed to be doing OK with it, is still active on other sites although he does miss FR.


33 posted on 08/07/2012 6:35:00 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1295 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: AdmSmith; bvw; callisto; ckilmer; dandelion; ganeshpuri89; gobucks; KevinDavis; Las Vegas Dave; ...
Thanks null and void.


· List topics · post a topic · subscribe · Google ·

34 posted on 08/07/2012 7:22:15 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: null and void

Nope. That was just my wife after she found me at the computer instead of mowing the lawn.


35 posted on 08/07/2012 7:44:20 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: null and void
One thing that both the best, and worst ways to die.
Being eaten by a Black Hole

uh... keep it clean guys ;-)

36 posted on 08/08/2012 4:01:37 AM PDT by Condor51 (Si vis pacem, para bellum.)
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To: null and void

The larger, the philosophical question, is...... does an accretion disk make noise while being packed into a black hole if there is no ear to hear it?


37 posted on 08/08/2012 4:08:10 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: null and void
It's mashed potato time!

Gravy, man, gravy.

38 posted on 08/08/2012 4:10:00 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: bert

Well, the deeper question is was there a sound before we heard it?

What was the state of Curiosity in the time between when it landed or crashed and we found out which it had done?


39 posted on 08/08/2012 8:50:28 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1297 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: null and void
A Blind Man in a Dark Room Looking for a Black Hole that isn’t There
40 posted on 08/28/2012 6:58:41 PM PDT by the anti-liberal
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To: null and void

“OH SHHHHHHIIIIIIIII...”


41 posted on 08/28/2012 7:00:11 PM PDT by dfwgator
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