This tag is associated with 34 posts

A Faint Black Hole?

The authors report the discovery of perhaps the faintest black hole x-ray binary. But this conclusion is limited by the uncertainty in the distance to the object.

Blank Sky But Not Blank Information

Archival data are able to place constraints on the origin of supernova 2011fe.

What Fed Sgr A* its Latest Meal?

The black hole at the center of our galaxy, Sgr A*, is a very picky eater. However, with the discovery of the G2 cloud, astronomers have had the opportunity to watch the infrequent feeding process in Sgr A* in action. While the origin of this cloud is still debated, research is beginning to suggest that G2 is a gas cloud that was ripped away from a giant star in orbit around our galaxy’s central black hole.

Galaxy in a Bottle: Simulating Spiral Galaxy Formation

How do simulations of galaxy formation stack up against each other and against observations? Find out with the Aquila project, a comparo of many different codes in current use.

The Changing Faces of Active Galactic Nuclei

Has a multi-wavelength study of AGN across a large redshift range revealed that these energetic giants do not impact upon their host galaxy as significantly as previously thought?

Progenitors of AM CVn systems

The progenitors of a special type of cataclysmic variable, AM CVn, and possibly supernovae have been found.

Chandra Observes Sgr A* Rejecting Material

Sgr A* – the supermassive black hole sitting in the center of the Milky Way – is often referred to as a ‘starved’ black hole, meaning that it swallows very little of the nearby cosmic gas and dust. The authors of this paper observed Sgr A* with the Chandra X-ray telescope for 3 mega seconds, throughout which only 1% of the gas available to Sgr A* actually accreted onto the black hole. It swallows cold gas, while rejecting hot gas – ejecting the matter back into space.

Another hungry black hole devours a star

Maksym et al. investigate a possible tidal flare event in Abell 1795.

Birth of the Most Massive Star Known – Caught in Action

The formation of massive stars is still an intense topic of debate. Observations are difficult because massive star forming regions are heavily obscured by dust – invisible in the optical and near infrared. The trick is to look at much longer wavelengths. Today’s paper does just that, using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile to observe the birth of a massive star in submillimeter wavelengths. At 500 times the mass of the Sun and 1 million times brighter, it is the largest forming protostar ever seen in our galaxy.

The black hole and the 50-course meal

The authors of today’s paper investigate the feeding habits of the elusive quiescent supermassive black hole, finding that in addition to swallowing some stars whole and constantly snacking on the winds of other stars, some black holes may also dine on giant stars slowly disrupted over tens to hundreds of orbits.

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