Andromeda Galaxy Exotic X-Ray

According to new study an intensely bright X-ray beacon shining in the Andromeda galaxy is actually a signpost for a hungry black hole that is gobbling up matter at a furious pace.NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory first discovered the so-called ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) in late 2009 in the Andromeda galaxy, which is located about 2.5 million light-years away from our own Milky Way galaxy. Stellar black holes are formed by the collapse of massive stars and typically contain up to 10 or 20 times the mass of the sun. According to the new studies, the black hole causing the ULX object in Andromeda is at least 13 times more massive than our sun and formed after a massive star ended its life in a spectacular supernova explosion.

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Chandra Discovered Fastest Wind From Stellar-Mass Black Holes

With the help NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory astronomers have clocked the fastest wind yet discovered blowing off a disk around a stellar-mass black hole. The record-breaking wind is moving about 20 million mph, or about 3 percent of the speed of light. This is nearly 10 times faster than had ever been seen from a stellar-mass black hole. Stellar-mass black holes are born when extremely massive stars collapse. They typically weigh between five and 10 times the mass of the sun. The stellar-mass black hole powering this super wind is known as IGR J17091-3624, or IGR J17091 for short. IGR J17091 is a binary system in which a sun-like star orbits a black hole.

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Rare Black Hole May Survive Galaxy Destruction

The Hubble Space Telescope recently spied a cluster of young blue stars surrounding a rare mid-weight black hole that suggests the black hole was once at the center of a dwarf galaxy. Astronomers think this galaxy was torn apart by the gravity of a larger host galaxy that it orbited. The violent encounter would have stripped away most of the dwarf galaxy’s stars, but it also could have compressed the gas around its central black hole, triggering a new wave of star formation. It is these new stars that Hubble recently saw signs of. The observations suggest that the young stars must be less than 200 million years old, meaning the collision between the parent galaxy and its dwarf likely occurred around that time.

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Echoes from Great Eruption Reach Astronomers

According to researchers an explosion in space first seen in the 19th century was apparently colder than before thought, throwing a new mystery into what may have triggered it. The cosmic eruption came from Eta Carinae, a star about 7,500 light-years away from Earth that is one of the most massive stars in our Milky Way galaxy. It blazed into ultra-brightness in 1838, becoming the second-brightest star in the sky for 10 years in a rare celestial outburst later dubbed the Great Eruption. The star later dimmed, and is now not even in the top 100 list of brightest stars. Scientists have found that Eta Carinae is a kind of star known as a luminous blue variable, meaning it goes through episodes of dimness and brightness.

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Planck Show Molecular Gas and Three Molecular Cloud Complexes

New images from the Planck mission show previously undiscovered islands of star formation and a mysterious haze of microwave emissions in our Milky Way galaxy. The views give scientists new treasures to mine and take them closer to understanding the secrets of our galaxy. Planck is a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation. The new images show the entire sky, dominated by the murky band of our Milky Way galaxy. One of them shows the unexplained haze of microwave light previously hinted at in measurements by NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).

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Hubble New Image Include Tilted Galaxy

Many of the Universe’s galaxies are like our own, displaying beautiful spiral arms wrapping around a bright nucleus. Examples in this stunning image, taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, include the tilted galaxy at the bottom of the frame, shining behind a Milky Way star, and the small spiral at the top center. Other galaxies are even odder in shape. Markarian 779, the galaxy at the top of this image, has a distorted appearance because it is likely the product of a recent galactic merger between two spirals.

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Stealth Merger of Dwarf Galaxy

According to new study small newfound galaxy with an oddball shape may be the product of a close encounter with a neighboring galaxy in what scientists are calling a “stealth merger”. The cosmic discovery came as astronomers investigated an isolated dwarf galaxy known as NGC 4449, which is about 12.4 million light-years away and is a “starburst galaxy,” meaning it forms young stars at a furious pace. This galaxy has a distorted shape as well, a look that is wreathed in hydrogen gas abounding with rings, shells and a core spinning the opposite way of the galaxy.

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European Telescope Reveals Hidden Secrets of Carina Nebula

The most detailed image yet of the well-known Carina nebula has been caught by a European telescope, unveiling previously hidden features of an exquisite star nursery. The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) spied the cosmic landscape of gas, dust and young stars in the majestic Carina nebula, which is located about 7,500 light-years away from Earth. The lively star nursery lies deep in the heart of the southern Milky Way, in the constellation of Carina (The Keel).

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Chandra Finds Milky Way Black Hole Grazing on Asteroids

According to astronomers using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory the giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way may be vaporizing and devouring asteroids, which could explain the frequent flares observed. For several years Chandra has detected X-ray flares about once a day from the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*, for short Sgr A*. The flares last a few hours with brightness ranging from a few times to nearly one hundred times that of the black hole’s regular output.

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