New evidence on black holes

This week, the media are giving great coverage to a study that confirms the existence of a super-massive Black Hole at the centre of our galaxy. The 16-year study has given new evidence of the size and distance (from us) of the BH, by tracking the movement of stars circling the centre of the Milky Way.

Undoubtedly the most spectacular aspect of our 16-year study is that it has delivered what is now considered to be the best empirical evidence that super-massive black holes do really exist,” said Professor Reinhard Genzel, head of the research team at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany.

The black hole is 27,000 light-years from Earth and four million times more massive than the Sun, according to a paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal. Observations were made using the 3.5m New Technology Telescope and the 8.2m Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Both are operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

According to Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society, the results suggest that galaxies form around giant black holes in the way that a pearl forms around grit.

Black holes  may have a role in helping galaxies to form

You can read more on this story in today’s Irish Times or on the BBC website.

Interestingly, the BBC originally ran the story as ‘BH found at center of the Milky Way, and have now changed it to ‘BH confirmed at centre of Milky Way’, reflecting the fact that the new study presents new evidence rather than first evidence of the phenomenon.

In any case, it’s exciting news – yet another phenomenon that was once thought to be a totally unrealistic prediction of theory (general relativity in this case).

P.S. It should be pointed out that Ireland is not a member of ESO – between that and CERN we’re not doing too well are we?


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10 responses to “New evidence on black holes

  1. […]It should be pointed out that Ireland is not a member of ESO […]

    Yes, why is that anyway? Was there a referendum that I missed? ;)

  2. О! Вы написали новый пост! Спасибо, что не перестаете на радывать

  3. dvd

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  4. cormac

    Cheers Dave, although I’m a huge fan of In Our Time, I’m forever missing it.
    I’ll save the Brian Cox vid as a treat for next week’s exam corrections groan…

  5. Да Привлекательные женщины отвлекают. Точно – Надоели критические дни – смени пол !!!!! Смешно Подпись к рисунку: “Жопа. Вид спереди” У семи нянек… четырнадцать сисек – весело Вот это верно – Сколько водки не бери, все равно два раза бегать! (мудрость). Обделался легким испугом. Это от чего? Интерено что Семь раз отпей – один раз отлей! можно ли Место клизмы изменить. Девушкам не хватает женственности, а женщинам – девственности. Это точно Скульптурная группа: Геракл, разрывающий пасть писающему мальчику. Эт круто Значoк на 150-килограмовом мужике ха Прогресс сделал розетки недоступными большинству детей, – умирают самые одаренные. ))) Жена моего друга для меня не женщина… Hо если она хорошенькая . . . он мне не друг )))

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