March 08, 2015
NASA's New Discovery
- The Largest Black Hole In History
A black hole is a
mathematically specified region of spacetime showing such a strong
gravitational pull that no particle or electro-magnetic radiation
could escape from it.
The theory of general
relativity anticipates that a completely small mass could flaw
spacetime to form a black gap. In lots of methods a black opening
acts like an optimal black body, as it shows no light.
The very first modern
remedy of general relativity that would identify a black hole was
found by Karl Schwarzschild in 1916, although its analysis as a
region of area from which absolutely nothing could escape was first
published by David Finkelstein in 1958.
Long thought about a
mathematical interest, it was during the 1960s that academic job
revealed black openings were an universal forecast of general
We've never seen them directly, yet we know they are there lurking
within dense star clusters, or wandering the dust lanes of the
galaxy where they prey on stars, or swallow planets whole.
Our Milky Way may harbor millions of these black holes,
the ultra dense remnants of dead stars.
But now, in the universe far beyond our galaxy, there's evidence of
something even more ominous: a breed of black holes that have reached incomprehensible size and
It has taken a new era in astronomy to find them .
High-tech instruments in space tuned to sense high-energy forms of
light - x-rays and gamma rays - that are invisible to our eyes.
New precision telescopes equipped with technologies that allow them
to cancel out the blurring effects of the atmosphere
and see to the far reaches of the universe.
Peering into distant galaxies, astronomers are now finding evidence
that space and time can be shattered by eruptions so vast they
boggle the mind.
We are just beginning to understand the impact these outbursts have
had on the universe around us.
That understanding recently took a leap forward.
A team operating at the
Subaru Observatory atop Hawaii's
Mauna Kea volcano looked out to one of the deepest reaches of the
universe and captured a beam of light that had taken nearly 13 billion years
to reach us.
It was a messenger from a time not long after the universe was born.
They focused on an object known as a quasar... short for
"quasi-stellar radio source."
It offered a stunning surprise - a tiny region in its center is so
bright that astronomers believe it's light is coming from a single
object at least a billion times the mass of our sun... Inside this
brilliant beacon, space suddenly turns dark
as it's literally swallowed by a giant black hole.
As strange as they may seem, even huge black holes like these are
thought to be products of the familiar universe of stars and
They get their start in rare types of large stars... at least ten
times the mass of our sun.
These giants burn hot and fast... and die young.
The star is a cosmic pressure-cooker. In its core, the crush of
gravity produces such intense heat that atoms are stripped and
Lighter elements like hydrogen and helium fuse together to form
heavier ones like calcium, oxygen, silicon, and finally iron.
When enough iron accumulates in the core of the star, it begins to
collapse under its own weight.
That can send a shock wave racing outward, literally blowing the
At the moment the star dies, if enough matter falls into its core,
it collapses to a point, forming a black hole.
Intense gravitational forces surround that point with a dark
sphere... the event horizon... beyond which nothing, not even light,
That's how an average-size black hole forms.
What about a monster the size of the Subaru quasar?
Recent discoveries about the rapid rise of these giant black holes
have led theorists to rethink their view of cosmic history.