Astronomical News

Comfortably Numb

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Gravitational waves could reveal ultralight bosons lurking near black holes

05 Mar 2019

'Hypothetical particles called ultralight bosons could be spotted lurking near supermassive black holes by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), according to calculations by a team of astrophysicists. LISA is a space-based gravitational-wave detector that should be operational in 2034, when the team says it could determine whether ultralight bosons are a component of dark matter'.

https://physicsworld.com/a/gravitat...l-ultralight-bosons-lurking-near-black-holes/
 
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NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrives at asteroid Bennu

Hopefully it'll turn out to be a starship.
Some interesting news about Bennu.

THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS—NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission to sample the asteroid Bennu and return to Earth was always going to be a touch-and-go maneuver. But new revelations about its target—a space rock five times the size of a U.S. football field that orbits close to Earth—are making the mission riskier than ever. Rather than smooth plains of rubble, Bennu’s surface is a jumble of more than 200 large boulders, with scarcely enough gaps for robotic sampling of its surface grit, the spacecraft’s team reported here today at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference and in a series of Nature papers.

The $800 million spacecraft began to orbit Bennu at the start of this year, and the asteroid immediately began to spew surprises—literally. On 6 January, the team detected a plume of small particles shooting off the rock; 10 similar events followed over the next month. Rather than a frozen remnant of past cosmic collisions, Bennu is one of a dozen known “active” asteroids. “[This is] one of the biggest surprises of my scientific career,” says Dante Lauretta, the mission’s principal investigator and a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “We are seeing Bennu regularly ejecting material into outer space.” ...

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...activity-complicates-nasa-s-sampling-attempts
 

INT21

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This one has to be a starship.

Up until now, the worlds we've visited with robotic spacecraft have been composed largely of rock, ice and gas.

But a Nasa mission due to launch in 2022 will visit an object thought to be made largely of metal. 16 Psyche is part of the asteroid belt - the sprawling mass of planetary leftovers that orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. About the size of the US state of Massachusetts, Psyche is the largest metallic asteroid known to science. But how did this 200 km-wide metal world come to be?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47559416
 

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4 things we’ll learn from the first closeup image of a black hole

We’re about to see the first close-up of a black hole.

The Event Horizon Telescope, a network of eight radio observatories spanning the globe, has set its sights on a pair of behemoths: Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center, and an even more massive black hole 53.5 million light-years away in galaxy M87 (SN Online: 4/5/17).

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/event-horizon-telescope-first-image-black-hole-questions
 

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A fascinating breakthrough at my old university.

Taking the temperature of black holes

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have developed a new formula to quickly calculate the temperature of a black hole.

They say it is simple and powerful, and offers fundamental insights into space and time.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47773553
 
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Triple checked to make sure this wasn't an April Fool...

SCIENTISTS CALL MYSTERIOUS MEETING AS RUMOURS OF FIRST EVER BLACK HOLE PHOTO HEAT UP

Scientists are to hold mysterious meetings across the world to announce a "groundbreaking" new black hole discovery.

Press conferences around the globe are being organised, seemingly to announce a photograph that could break new ground in our understanding in space. Humanity might be about to see a black hole for the first ever time.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-...t-meeting-event-horizon-eso-a8850486.html?amp
 
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Hopefully the asteroid isn't a concealed Alien Starship/Base. They might regard it as a Pearl Harbour style incident.

The Japanese Hayabusa-2 spacecraft is thought to have detonated an explosive charge on the asteroid it is exploring.

Its mission is to create an artificial crater on the asteroid Ryugu. If this is successful, it will later return to gather samples of the asteroid, which could help scientists understand how Earth was formed in the early Solar System.

According to Kyodo News, the experiment's success will only be confirmed in late April.

The explosive device, called the Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI), was deployed by the Hayabusa-2 on Friday. The SCI is a 14kg conical container attached to the Hayabusa-2 and packed with plastic explosive. It was intended to punch a 10m-wide hole in the asteroid upon impact.

The SCI on Friday successfully separated from the Hayabusa-2 at an altitude of 500m above the surface of Ryugu.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47818460
 
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Whilst still perplexed how this possible, looks like the real deal...

We're About to See The First-Ever Photo of a Black Hole. Here's What It Might Be Like

BY MICHELLE STARR
APRIL 04, 2019

The year 2019 is here. With it, we've been promised a splendid moment in astronomy. For years, the Event Horizon Telescope has been working to bring us the first ever telescopic photograph of the event horizon of a black hole.

https://www.sciencealert.com/we-re-...a-black-hole-here-s-what-it-might-be-like/amp
 

OneWingedBird

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And here is the first image of a black hole, and I’ll start the ball rolling, it’s the Eye of Sauron!
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47873592
View attachment 16190
It'll be interesting to see what detail we get if there are higher res pictures still to come, if I understand this correctly, the light isn't coming from the black hole, rather it's all lensed from the background.

The black centre is where the size of the black hole exceeds the angle that light is being bent around it ie actual event horizon seen face on.
 
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