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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day (September 5, 2010)

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  • mahtezcatpoc
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100905.html In the center of a swirling whirlpool of hot gas is likely a beast that has never been seen directly: a black
    Message 1 of 379 , Sep 5, 2010
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      http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100905.html

      "In the center of a swirling whirlpool of hot gas is likely a beast that has never been seen directly: a black hole. Studies of the bright light emitted by the swirling gas frequently indicate not only that a black hole is present, but also likely attributes. The gas surrounding GRO J1655-40 [in Scorpius], for example, has been found to display an unusual flickering at a rate of 450 times a second. Given a previous mass estimate for the central object of seven times the mass of our Sun, the rate of the fast flickering can be explained by a black hole that is rotating very rapidly. What physical mechanisms actually cause the flickering -- and a slower quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) -- in accretion disks surrounding black holes and neutron stars remains a topic of much research."


      Mark A. Holmes
    • mahtezcatpoc
      http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap111126.html IC 5067, the Pelican Nebula in Cygnus. Mark A. Holmes
      Message 379 of 379 , Dec 1, 2011
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        http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap111126.html

        IC 5067, the Pelican Nebula in Cygnus.


        Mark A. Holmes
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