Headlines > News > Monster Galaxy May Have Been Stirred Up By Black-hole Mischief

Monster Galaxy May Have Been Stirred Up By Black-hole Mischief

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:41 pm via: NASA
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Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have obtained a remarkable new view of a whopper of an elliptical galaxy that may have been puffed up by the actions of one or more black holes in its core.

Spanning a little more than one million light-years, the galaxy is about 10 times the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy. The bloated galaxy is a member of an unusual class of galaxies with a diffuse core filled with a fog of starlight where there would normally be a concentrated peak of light around a central black hole. Viewing the core is like seeing a city with no downtown, just houses sprinkled across a vast landscape.

The giant elliptical galaxy in the center of this Hubble image is the most massive and brightest member of the galaxy cluster Abell 2261. Spanning a little more than one million light-years,the galaxy is about 10 times the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy. The bloated galaxy is a member of an unusual class of galaxies with a diffuse core filled with a fog of starlight. Abell 2261 is located three billion light-years away. The observations were taken March to May 2011. Credit: NASA; ESA; M. Postman, STScI; T. Lauer, NOAO, Tucson; CLASH team.

The giant elliptical galaxy in the center of this Hubble image is the most massive and brightest member of the galaxy cluster Abell 2261. Spanning a little more than one million light-years,the galaxy is about 10 times the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy. The bloated galaxy is a member of an unusual class of galaxies with a diffuse core filled with a fog of starlight. Abell 2261 is located three billion light-years away. The observations were taken March to May 2011. Credit: NASA; ESA; M. Postman, STScI; T. Lauer, NOAO, Tucson; CLASH team.

Astronomers used Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3 to measure the amount of starlight across the galaxy, dubbed A2261-BCG. The Hubble observations revealed that the galaxy’s puffy core, measuring about 10,000 light-years, is the largest yet seen.

A galaxy’s core size typically is correlated to the dimensions of its host galaxy, but in this case, the central region is much larger than astronomers would expect for the galaxy’s size. In fact, the bloated core is more than three times larger than the center of other very luminous galaxies. Located three billion light-years away, the galaxy is the most massive and brightest galaxy in the Abell 2261 cluster.

Astronomers have proposed two possibilities for the puffy core. One scenario is that a pair of merging black holes gravitationally stirred up and scattered the stars. Another idea is that the merging black holes were ejected from the core. Left without an anchor, the stars began spreading out even more, creating the puffy-looking core.

Previous Hubble observations have revealed that supermassive black holes, weighing millions or billions times more than the sun, reside at the centers of nearly all galaxies and may play a role in shaping those central regions.

“Expecting to find a black hole in every galaxy is sort of like expecting to find a pit inside a peach,” explained astronomer Tod Lauer of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Ariz., a co-author of the Hubble study. “With this Hubble observation, we cut into the biggest peach and we can’t find the pit. We don’t know for sure that the black hole is not there, but Hubble shows that there’s no concentration of stars in the core.”

Team leader Marc Postman of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., said the galaxy stood out in the Hubble image. “When I first saw the image of this galaxy, I knew right away it was unusual,” Postman explained. “The core was very diffuse and very large. The challenge was then to make sense of all the data, given what we knew from previous Hubble observations, and come up with a plausible explanation for the intriguing nature of this particular galaxy.”

The paper describing the results appeared in the Sept. 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. The astronomers expected to see a slight cusp of light in the galaxy’s center, marking the location of the black hole and attendant stars. Instead, the starlight’s intensity remained fairly even across the galaxy.

One possibility for the puffy core may be due to two central black holes orbiting each other. These black holes collectively could have been as massive as several billion suns. Though one of the black holes would be native to the galaxy, a second black hole could have been added from a smaller galaxy that was gobbled up by the massive elliptical.

In this scenario, stars circling in the giant galaxy’s center came close to the twin black holes. The stars were then given a gravitational boot out of the core. Each gravitational slingshot robbed the black holes of momentum, moving the pair ever closer together, until finally they merged, forming one supermassive black hole that still resides in the galaxy’s center.

Another related possibility is that the black-hole merger created gravity waves, which are ripples in the fabric of space. According to the theory of general relativity, a pair of merging black holes produce ripples of gravity that radiate away. If the black holes are of unequal mass, then some of the energy may radiate more strongly in one direction, producing the equivalent of a rocket thrust. The imbalance of forces would have ejected the merged black hole from the center at speeds of millions of miles an hour, resulting in the rarity of a galaxy without a central black hole. “The black hole is the anchor for the stars,” Lauer explained. “If you take it out, all of a sudden you have a lot less mass. The stars don’t get held down very well and they expand out, enlarging the core even more.”

The team admits that the ejected black-hole scenario may sound far-fetched, “but that’s what makes observing the universe so intriguing — sometimes you find the unexpected,” said Postman.

Added Lauer: “This is a system that’s interesting enough that it pushes against a lot of questions. We have thought an awful lot about what black holes do. But we haven’t been able to test our theories. This is an interesting place where a lot of the ideas we’ve had can come together and can be tested, fairly exotic ideas about how black holes may interact with each other dynamically and how they would affect the surrounding stellar population.”

The team is now conducting follow-up observations with the Very Large Array radio telescope (VLA) in New Mexico. The astronomers expect material falling onto a black hole to emit radio waves, among other types of radiation. They will compare the VLA data with the Hubble images to more precisely pin down the location of the black hole, if it indeed exists.

The Abell 2261 cluster is part of a multi-wavelength survey, led by Postman, called the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH). The survey probes the distribution of dark matter in 25 massive galaxy clusters.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md., conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington.

1 Comments
New and old Science

A new and Progressive Science shows how Wavevolution, or the transformation from waves to atoms, is the connecting link that closes the circle of science to open our eyes toward new horizons never seen before.

The bureaucracy of traditional science prevents the recognition of any event unless certain criteria are first met. The problem of this science is buried deep in the compilation of these "laws" or criteria introduced by a few scientists in the name of all science and from their erroneous understanding of the relation between Space and Time. This antiquated system of rules also results in misleading theories.

For example, Space is not “curved”.

In Einstein's paradigm, a stone that falls on the ground from the window of a moving train also marks one parabola in Space. Although, this path is only apparent since the Earth is also moving and the Time spent by the stone to reach the ground has also changed to some degree that imaginary vertical line. At the Time of the initial Movement when the stone falls from the window
its potential trajectory is one perpendicular Space that is no longer the same as the stone continues to move until it hits the ground. If the scientist had known that the coordinates of Space in Time are unique and unrepeatable then all the rest would have also been "straight". That perpendicular is straight but accounted as “curve” because of the limits of science unable to recognize the issue of simultaneity. In reference to each body on each moment in Time there are always only two coordinates in Space for one perpendicular.

And with two coordinates there is no curve.

One perpendicular is unrepeatable and never the same because while the measure of it is repeatable and any measurement can be applied for different segments instead one perpendicular marked in Time is like an imprint on clay with one mold that is not repeatable. These are the limits of science in regard to simultaneity and repeatability that like a white flag surrender traditional science to Religion.

The perpendicular changes in Time but Einstein believed that the concept of Space is independent from the concept of Time.

Another example is in the special theory of relativity which denies all absolutes and meanings of truth. This is in regard to Einstein's example of two beams of light hitting one same embankment of a railroad on two Points: Point A and Point B. In between the two there is also the middle point, Point M. If one train were to run over that track then on the train we would also have Point A1 on the wagon of the train correspondent to above Point A and also one other corresponding Point B1 right above Point B. We would also have on the train the corresponding Point M1 above Point M. Einstein's theory is that as for Point M (not moving because on the embankment) those two beams are simultaneous and equidistant, instead, for the passenger sitting on M1 and moving towards Point B1 (and also toward Point B) the two beams are not simultaneous because the beam in Point B1 is being approached by the moving train, therefore closer to M1. In this example, while Einstein’s concept of Time is rigidly kept unchanged in regard to the embankment, instead, the concept of Space is extended also to the next moment in Time when the traveler will move even if in that precise instant the traveler has not moved yet. Since the concept of simultaneity had been put aside, Einstein considered Time to be the same while Space instead had changed.

Also, this same scientist erroneously believed that all colors in the light spectrum travel at the same speed.

Much confusion comes from these approximations.

One new Awareness will be found in between the winding creativity of the human mind and the rigid logic of numbers.

http://www.wikinfo.org/Multilingual/index.php/Wavevolution

http://www.wavevolution.org/en/humanwaves.html
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