Black Hole

Mystery Space Object May Be Ejected Black Hole

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 7, 2010   View Article

A mystery object in a galaxy far, far away could be a supermassive black hole that got booted from its home galaxy’s center, according to a new study.

Then again, the strange body could be a rare type of supernova or an oddball “midsize” black hole—more massive than black holes born when single stars explode but “lighter” than the supermassive ones at the centers of galaxies.

“All three of those [options] are exotic and have something peculiar to them,” said study co-author Peter Jonker, an astronomer with the Netherlands Institute for Space Research in Utrecht.

Big science projects on the edge of doability

Publication:   Date: May 21, 2009   View Article

The Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990, forever changed how humanity views the cosmos. Along the way, the observatory has opened eyes to the expansion of the universe, the evolution of stars and the beginning of time. As Hubble’s expiration date nears, what’s next in the realm of big science? Check out seven projects that a consortia of scientists, government agencies, and private corporations are working on hard to get off the ground. Technological and budgetary hurdles may prove insurmountable for some.

Black Holes Are “Green,” X-Ray Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 24, 2006   View Article

Supermassive black holes are actually “green,” scientists announced today as they described a new study on the energy efficiency of black holes.

If cars were as fuel efficient as these black holes, researchers say, the vehicles could theoretically travel over a billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) on a gallon of gasoline.

Supermassive Black Hole at Center of Milky Way, Study Hints

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 2, 2005   View Article

Astronomers are closing in on proof that a supermassive black hole is the source of mysterious radio waves at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Black holes are objects whose gravitational pull is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. Supermassive black holes contain the mass of millions, if not billions, of suns.

X-Ray “Vision” Unlocking Black Hole Mysteries

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 24, 2005   View Article

Advances in x-ray astronomy are resolving some enduring mysteries about black holes, scientists say. Black holes are places in space where the force of gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape.

In recent years scientists have learned to find black holes by sweeping the skies with space-based telescopes equipped with x-ray “vision.” X-rays are a high-energy form of light that is invisible to the human eye.

“Dark Side” of Universe Is Coming to Light

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 19, 2003   View Article

For centuries astronomers have trained their gaze on the matter that brightens the universe: the moon, the planets, the stars, and the galaxies. But these bright spots only comprise four percent of the cosmos.

The rest is seemingly a void, nothing but darkness. But the darkness is not empty: It is filled with dark matter and dark energy that has, over the course of the 14 billion years since the big bang, molded the universe into the dynamic structure and shape it holds today. The big bang is the name given to the theory that the universe started with a single cosmic explosion.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach