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The First Image of a Black Hole is Finally Here!

black holes science news Apr 29, 2020

 By Dr. Ines Urdaneta, Research Scientist at Resonance Science Foundation.
For some time now we have been following the Event Horizon Telescope initiative (EHT) aiming at the obtention of the first image of the EH of a Black Hole (BH) for Sagittarius A (Sag. A*), located at the center of our own galaxy, the milky way. Given the fact that Sag. A* nuclei is much less active that Messier 87 (M87*), the image reported first is that of M87*. Even though M87* is 2000 times farther away, it is 2000 times more massive. This compensates exactly the distance, with a higher nuclei activity allowing a better resolution and faster data analysis than Sag. A*.

So finally, the day has come! The moment couldn't be more exciting. First EHT results for the shadow of the BH, which is 55 million light years away from Earth, with a mass 6.5 billion times the mass of our Sun and located at the center of M87*, have been announced worldwide today, April 10th 2019, at the same time by different...

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A Deeper Look into Black Holes

by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Astrophysicist

A deeper look into one of the most intriguing objects has just been revealed.

Black holes are typically observed by the light given off by the surrounding material, such as accretion disks or high velocity jets known as quasars. In 2015, this was extended to gravitational waves when the first gravitational wave was detected from the merger of a pair of black holes.

Then, last year the first direct picture of a black hole was revealed which captured the shadow of the black hole on the accretion disc. Read more here.

Now a recent international study, led by Dr William Alston of the Cambridge University, has taken it one step further, allowing us to peer into a black hole deeper than ever before.

Utilizing a technique known as X-ray reverberation mapping, the team of scientists set about observing the highly variable active galactic nuclei (AGN) IRAS 13224-3809. Located a mere billion light years away, the bright AGN...

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Supermassive Black Holes Birthing Stars at “Furious Rate”!

by Inés Urdaneta, Resonance Science Research Scientist

We have been increasingly hearing much more about black holes and their role in the cosmos.

Black holes are exotic creatures, mainly classified in two types according to their size: stellar black holes (up to tenths of solar masses) and supermassive black holes (billions of solar masses). We commonly used to believe that, independent of their size, black holes all share the same feature: they devour everything getting too close and entering their event horizon.

For decades, astronomers have looked for galaxy clusters containing rich nurseries of stars in their central galaxies. Instead, they found powerful, giant black holes bursting out energy through jets of high-energy particles. Extremely hot particles emanating from these black holes were found to be preventing the formation of stars. So where are all the stars coming from?

The leading theories have proposed two mechanism to elucidate this mystery. One concerns the...

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Life Giving Black Holes

by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

Those hungry, all devouring black holes may in fact be much more generous than we have been led to believe.

Black holes are often given bad press. This, however, is not indicative to their true nature, which is in fact quite stable. A team of scientists are now looking to do away with all the bad press and have proposed that black holes are in fact life givers.

Traditionally when thinking about life in the universe – other than our own – we look to stars and something known as the Goldilocks zone. Like its namesake, the Goldilocks zone is not too hot and not too cold – it’s just right. That is, the temperature is just right for liquid water and thus life to exist. Albeit, these assumptions about what is just right for life to exist are just that –assumptions – based on what we know as life.

It is now known that the central nuclei of galaxies are home to a super massive black...

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Black holes – to be or not to be?

by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist 

Those enigmatic black holes that lead to places unknown may not be what we thought they were – or at least that’s what some scientists think.

Since first proposed in 1784 by John Mitchell and their prediction in 1915 by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, evidence supporting the idea of black holes has continued to be found.

Described as infinitely dense points in space time – where not even light can escape – the presence of a black hole is thus inferred from the gravitational effects on the surrounding material. But what if something else – other than a black hole – could produce these same effects?

Such a question was addressed in two recent papers by a team of scientists at the University of Hawaii. They consider the consequences of replacing all black holes with a class of objects with ‘dark energy’ interiors known as Generic Objects of Dark...

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Black Holes… Black Suns?

by Inés Urdaneta, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

Image from ESA

Stars were thought to be the principal and most important component for life to thrive… till now. Researchers from Harvard university explain that radiation coming from Black holes could do the same!

Habitable zones in outer space have been defined with respect to stars (suns), as regions where the stars radiation and energy are suitable for emergence of life. Closer or farther away from this source of energy, temperature would be too cold or too hot in order for liquid water to exist in a planet´s surface. The zones were liquid water and biological opportunity can happen are known as “Goldilocks zone”.

A new study published in The Astrophysical Journal have found such zones around supermassive black holes as well. This is quite surprising, since the surroundings of a black hole, consisting on swirling disks of gas and dust called Active Galactic Nuclei -AGN-, emit...

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Crossing the Event Horizon with Loop Quantum Gravity

Article by Dr. Olivier Alirol, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

Black Holes are the most powerful objects known in the Universe. And yet their physic remains to be discovered. For example, collapsing matter may not disappear at their center. It could bounce inside and, energy and information that fell into the black hole could emerge from the white hole. Hawking suggested once using these objects as a worldwide power plant. “A mountain-sized black hole would give off X-rays and gamma rays at a rate of about 10 million megawatts, enough to power the world’s electricity supply. It wouldn’t be easy, however, to harness a mini black hole. You couldn’t keep it in a power station, because it would drop through the floor and end up at the center of the Earth.” Black Holes are surprising singularities which are windows onto physics beyond Einstein and there is still no complete answers on how they really work.

One important question is about how...

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First Virtual Reality Simulation of a Supermassive Black Hole

Article by: Inés Urdaneta, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

 As mentioned in a previous article, the Event Horizon Telescope is an international collaboration aiming to obtain the first real image of the event horizon (EH) of a black hole using a set of antennas scattered around the globe. EHT has been monitoring and collecting data from the supermassive Black Hole (SMBH) at the core of the Milky Way galaxy, known as Sagittarius A*, and results are expected very soon, probably 2019.

Now, for the first time, the virtual reality simulation of Sagittarius A* has been achieved by a group of scientists at Radbound University and collaborators from the Institute of theoretical Physics, in Germany, and the Mullard Space Science laboratory, at the University College London. In their article “Observing Supermassive Black Holes in virtual reality”, published last week, authors explain the methodology for the obtention of a full 360° view...

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The Origin of the Sun’s Dynamo and the Extended 22-Year Solar Cycle

Article by by Johanna Deinert, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

A study published late September depicts the mean rotation rate of the Sun as a function of velocity vs. radius at different latitudes. The subsurface boundary shear and the angular velocity gradient gives rise to a latitudinal migration of a toroidal field dynamic with a cycle of 22 Years, and the magnetic field as a primary driver of torsional oscillations on the surface.

”All manifestations of solar activity, from spectral irradiance variations to solar storms and geomagnetic disturbances, are caused by the magnetic fields generated by a dynamo mechanism operating in the convection zone deep below the visible surface of the Sun. Despite substantial modeling and simulation efforts, our understanding of how the magnetic field is generated, transported to the surface and forms the solar activity cycles is very poor." – Alexander G. Kosovichev and Valery V. Pipin


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Where There is Black, There is White?

by Inés Urdaneta, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

This could be the first time you have heard about a white hole (WH). Meanwhile, we have been hearing for quite some time about “black holes” (BH) as regions in outer space where nothing — not even light — could escape. Such cosmological entities, roughly represented by a singularity or point of infinite energy/mass/information density and an event horizon defining the “size” of the BH, are increasingly subjects of study. In addition, the possibility of detecting gravitational signatures as the ones detected two years ago, coming allegedly from the collision and merging of two black holes, have increased their interest even more. So, what about WH?

The obscure regions of space called BH have, at least theoretically, a counterpart mathematical description, which would imply an opposite behavior; a region of space where nothing — not even light — could ever enter....

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