Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/27/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Black hole periodically flares up with activity as it consumes stars and clouds of dust.

Scientists have figured out why the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is so "quiet." It hasn't had anything to eat.

A supermassive black holen like the one in this artist's rendition resides at the heart of our galaxy.

A supermassive black holen like the one in this artist's rendition resides at the heart of our galaxy.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/27/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: black hole, supermassive, milky way


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy is fasting and hasn't had a big meal in the past two million years. Although that may seem dramatic, for a black hole, that is barely a space between snacks.

Black holes form when massive stars, many times the size of our Sun, fuse the hydrogen and other elements in their cores to the point that nuclear fusion can no longer occur. Without the exploding force of nuclear fusion, much of the matter in the star's core collapses inwards to a single point. The gravitational force becomes so great that no energy, not even light, can escape the overwhelming gravitational pull of the black hole.

Likewise, in the center of most galaxies, including our own, there reside supermassive black holes with masses hundreds of millions of times that of our Sun. How they formed is still unclear, but their effect is all the same. Anything that passes close enough gets ripped apart and falls towards the black hole. Some of the matter is consumed, and some of it is belched out in a cosmic blast at near-relativistic speeds.

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is four million times the mass of our Sun and just two million years ago was spewing jets of matter from its poles.

Supermassive black holes like the one depicted here can stream jets into space. These jets can spur

Supermassive black holes like the one depicted here can stream jets into space. These jets can spur the formation of new stars and even entire solar systems.


This spewing of matter by means of polar jets is common and it is one of the ways in which scientists can detect black holes. Although black holes emit no light, they can be detected by the spiraling gasses which are compressed and accelerated around them as they spiral into the black hole. Those gasses emit radiation such as x-rays and gamma rays that can be detected on Earth. Some of those gasses end up in the cosmic jets spewing away from each pole.

Astronomers say they have now clearly observed speeding gasses from the poles of our own black hole. Although the black hole isn't spewing jets now, it did two million years ago. Those gasses are still streaming above and below our galaxy and can be observed with the right equipment.

These jets are activated each time the black hole consumes matter. The galatic center is filled with a swirling mass of stars and dust, but many of these objects stay far enough away they aren't consumed by the black hole, they just orbit as a respectful distance. However, occasionally a star is perturbed by other stars or clouds of dust and gas fall inwards and end up in the death grip of the black hole.

When that happens with enough material, the black hole will "switch on" on its polar jets, ejecting some of the matter above and below.

Understanding that this phenomenon occurs right in our cosmic backyard will help astronomers understand black holes better. It is thought they play a central role in the formation of galaxies and possibly even life itself.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Technology

Apple takes a stand: They say they won't unlock iPhones, iPads for police Watch

Image of With their new policy -- not even Apple will be able to unlock the secrets held on their iPhones and iPads that the user does not wish to share --

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Electronic industry leader Apple has taken a remarkable stand that will make them somewhat unpopular with law enforcement. The company declared this week that they will make it impossible for data from iPhones or iPads handed over to the police. This ... continue reading


This goofy looking jet is the key to Europe's airplane market Watch

Image of Airbus currently operates five Beluga airbuses, which are the primary way in which the company transports airplane parts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Airbus A300-600ST, more popularly known as the "Beluga" due to its resemblance to the Arctic whale, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first flight this month. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Beluga performs critical transportation roles in ... continue reading


New fossils may prove that mammals existed alongside dinosaurs Watch

Image of New fossils of early, squirrel-like mammals, found in China, have shown that mammals may have existed early then previously thought.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fossils of three early mammalian species from over 200 million years ago suggests that dinosaurs and mammals did coexist on the Earth earlier than previously thought. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The fossils of the squirrel-like creatures were discovered in ... continue reading


Make way for the 'Phablet:' Apple hopes to recapture trendsetters with world's first 'smartwatch' Watch

Image of Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the Apple Watch during a special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts this week.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The way of the future...is "phablets," which combines both features of smartphones and tablets. Apple, hoping to usurp the high tech throne from Asian rival Samsung will announce their first ever "smartwatch" along with two large-screen versions of the iPhone ... continue reading


British researchers may have just found the cure for multiple sclerosis! Watch

Image of A new study by researchers from Bristol University may have found a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study published in the journal Nature Communications shows that scientists may have discovered a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes by retraining the immune system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study was ... continue reading


Futuristic, super-fast sports car runs on saltwater Watch

Image of A four-seater, the car's 22-inch wheels sit just beneath impressive double gull-wing doors, in the manner of the classic DeLorean, that feature

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Imagine, if you will - in the words of the late, great Rod Serling of "Twilight Zone" fame - a futuristic sports car that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds - that runs entirely on saltwater. While sports cars are not known for ... continue reading


Scientists put out international plea to help figure out purpose of cellular protein 'blobs' Watch

Image of Scientists are stepping up attempts at understanding the purpose of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists in the U.S. are calling on the scientific community to up their efforts to determine the purpose and function of mysterious blobs in cells that have eluded understanding since they were first discovered 50 years ago. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


MARK OF THE BEAST: Microchip implants in humans becoming more viable Watch

Image of Chips are already being used to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A microchip implanted on human beings has chilling implications, conjuring up images of the "Mark of the Beast" as mentioned in the Book of revelations. Such an accessory would certainly be a boon for a totalitarian society - but there are scientists who say ... continue reading


Google, Internet search engine - branches off with DRONE DELIVERY Watch

Image of Google engineers coupled with experts on unmanned aerial vehicles, called UAVs, safely carried out more than 30 test flights this month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The unquestioned leader of Internet search engines, Google, has branched off into a most unexpected venture. Google is now considering delivery with drone aircraft, running its first test flights earlier this month as part of "Project Wing," a secretive, ... continue reading


What are these mysterious objects found underneath Stonehenge? Watch

Image of Using underground radar and 3D imaging technology, a new study has revealed that there are numerous monuments underneath the famous Stonehenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

England's iconic and mysterious Stonehenge has just revealed a new mystery, as a first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient monument and the surrounding countryside. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13
1 Like flowing water is a king's heart in Yahweh's ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:19-21
19 His mother and his brothers came looking for him, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Padre Pio
September 23: Francesco, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter