Tuesday, May 21

Astronomy

Astronomy

Black holes observed colliding when universe was only 740m years old | Astronomy

A pair of black holes has been observed colliding in the ancient universe for the first time. The observations, by the James Webb Space Telescope, reveal a merger of two galaxies and the monster black holes at their centres when the universe was just 740m years old, about a 20th of its current age.The discovery that massive mergers appear to have been common in the infant universe could help explain how supermassive black holes like the one at the heart of the Milky Way achieved such tremendous proportions.Prof Roberto Maiolino, an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge, and a member of team behind the observations, said: “One problem that we have in cosmology is explaining how these black holes manage to grow so big. In the past we have always talked about gobbling matter very quic...
Supermassive Black Holes Got Started From Massive Cosmic Seeds
Astronomy

Supermassive Black Holes Got Started From Massive Cosmic Seeds

Supermassive black holes are central to the dynamics and evolution of galaxies. They play a role in galactic formation, stellar production, and possibly even the clustering of dark matter. Almost every galaxy has a supermassive black hole, which can make up a small fraction of a galaxy’s mass in nearby galaxies. While we know a great deal about these gravitational monsters, one question that has lingered is just how supermassive black holes gained mass so quickly. Most of what we know about early black holes comes from quasars. These occur when supermassive black holes are in an extremely active phase, consuming prodigious amounts of matter and emitting intense light that can be seen across the Universe. Observations from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and other observatories have...
May Night Sky – Astronotes
Astronomy

May Night Sky – Astronotes

We completed a half orbit around the Sun since I wrote the November Night Sky. It felt like yesterday, but it has been 6 months ago. The time is cruel…  The days are already quite a bit longer and are still getting longer. Stargazing is getting more difficult in this part of the world. However, there is still plenty to see this month. Let us have a quick look at the May Night Sky.  Planets and the Moon  Image Credit: Stellarium   There are five planets visible to the naked eye. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. They all look quite bright in the night sky since they are nearby (on the cosmic scale) objects and reflect the sunlight. However, this May is unfortunate for planet observation. All these planets are quite close to the Sun in the sky (from our point of view) and thus, they...
JWST captures zooms in on the ‘mane’ of the iconic Horsehead Nebula – Astronomy Now
Astronomy

JWST captures zooms in on the ‘mane’ of the iconic Horsehead Nebula – Astronomy Now

This image of the Horsehead Nebula from the James Webb Space Telescope focuses on a portion of the horse’s “mane” that is about 0.8 light-years in width. It was taken with Webb’s NIRCam (Near-infrared Camera). Image: NASA, ESA, CSA, Karl Misselt (University of Arizona), Alain Abergel (IAS, CNRS). The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured the sharpest infrared images to date of a zoomed-in portion of one of the most distinctive objects in our skies, the Horsehead Nebula. The observations show the top of the “horse’s mane” or edge of this iconic nebula in a whole new light, capturing the region’s complexity with unprecedented spatial resolution. The new images show part of the sky in the constellation Orion (The Hunter), in the western side of a dense region known as the Orion B mo...
Astronomy

Voyager 1 transmitting data again after Nasa remotely fixes 46-year-old probe | Space

Earth’s most distant spacecraft, Voyager 1, has started communicating properly again with Nasa after engineers worked for months to remotely fix the 46-year-old probe.Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which makes and operates the agency’s robotic spacecraft, said in December that the probe – more than 15bn miles (24bn kilometres) away – was sending gibberish code back to Earth.In an update released on Monday, JPL announced the mission team had managed “after some inventive sleuthing” to receive usable data about the health and status of Voyager 1’s engineering systems. “The next step is to enable the spacecraft to begin returning science data again,” JPL said. Despite the fault, Voyager 1 had operated normally throughout, it added.Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 was designed with the pri...