Finnish researchers discover new type of black hole

Researchers at the University of Turku, in cooperation with international colleagues, have identified a new type of low-mass black hole. The type now discovered is a bright celestial object that emits x-rays.

NOTE : It is not possible to directly observe a black hole, but it is possible to detect events in its vicinity. An artist’s concept of x-ray emissions from a black hole, published by NASA, August 2014

This new type of black hole has less mass than other known types and is associated with x-ray emitting quasars.

Up until now, it has been assumed that the collapse of a massive star generally forms a massive black hole or a small neutron star. The mass gap between neutron stars and stellar mass black holes is a question that has been a matter of inquiry for numerous research teams.

The object now discovered and designed SWIFT J1753.5-0127 has a mass somewhere between that of a conventionally-recognized black hole and a neutron star. Previously, observed neutron stars have been found to have less than two solar masses, while black holes have over five.

Observations related to this new type of low-mass black hole were published in a paper by a group of reseachers at the University of Turku, the Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, and the INAF-IASF Milan branch, and published by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Source : yle

Scientists Create 3D Map of Cosmic Web for the First Time Showing ‘Adolescent’ Universe


Using extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8 billion light-years away, scientists created one of the most complete, 3D maps of the early universe. 3D map of the cosmic web at a distance of 10.8 billion years from Earth, generated from imprints of hydrogen gas observed in the spectrum of 24 background galaxies behind the volume. (Photo : Casey Stark (UC Berkeley) and Khee-Gan Lee (MPIA))

y have managed to create a map of what our universe looked like during its adolescence. Using extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8 billion light-years away, the researchers created one of the most complete, 3D maps at a time when the universe was made of a fraction of the dark matter we see today.

In this case, the researchers used a new technique for high-resolution universe maps. This technique, which uses distant galaxies to backlight hydrogen gas, could actually also inform future mapping projects, such as the proposed Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI).

Before this study, no one knew if galaxies further than 10 billion light-years away could provide enough light to be useful. Yet the Keck-1 telescope collected four hours of data during a brief break in cloudy skies and showed that it was possible to do so. Because of the extreme faintness of the light, though, the scientists had to develop algorithms to subtract light from the sky that would otherwise drown out the galactic signals.

“It’s a pretty weird map because it’s not really 3D,” said David Schlegel, one of the researchers, in a news release. “It’s all these skewers; we don’t have a picture of what’s between the quasars, just what’s along the skewers.”

The resulting map, though, shows that this technique is possible for future maps.

“This technique is pretty efficient and it wouldn’t take a long time to obtain enough data to cover volumes hundreds of millions of light-years on a side,” said Khee-Gan Lee, the lead researcher.

The findings reveal a bit more about the early universe and show that this technique could be huge when it comes to peering even further back into the past. That said, scientists will need to collect more data before this becomes a possibility.

Source : Science World Report