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A jet of gas spewing from a huge black hole has mysteriously brightened, flaring to 90 times its normal glow.
For seven years the Hubble Space Telescope has been watching the jet, which pours out of the supermassive black hole in the center of the M87 galaxy. It has photographed the strange phenomenon fading and then brightening, with a peak that even outshines M87\'s brilliant core.
Scientists have dubbed the enigmatic bright blob HST-1, and are so far at a loss to explain its weird behavior.
Originally posted by neil wilkes
It's this kind of woolly thinking that amazes me.
The definition of a "Black Hole" is as follows:
It's an object that has a gravitational field of such intensity that nothing can escape it.
Not even light, once it is caught in the gravitational field.
If this be the case, then how can anything be emitted from it?
Including so-called "Hawking Radiation" and these jets of gas.
Quasars appear to be only a light-year across, compared with the one hundred thousand light years of a galaxy and the ten thousand light-years cell-size of his stimulation.
In 1989, however, new evidence developed which will probably doom the black-hole hypothesis. Gas and plasma near the center of galaxies has always been observed to move at a high velocity, up to 1500 km/sec for our own galaxy, and similar or higher values for others. These velocities are generally treated as evidence for a black hole whose powerful gravitational field has trapped the swirling gases. But the two scientists at the University of Arizona, G.H and M.J. Rieke, carefully measured the velocities of stars within a few light-years of the center of our galaxy, and found the velocities are no higher than 70km/sec, twenty times slower than the plasma velocities measured in the same area. since the stars must respond to any gravitational force, their low velocities show that no black hole exists. The high-speed gases must therefore be trapped only by a magnetic field, which does not affect the stars.
Ghez's team focused on S2, a relatively bright star with a short orbit around the black hole, whereas Gillessen's group determined the orbits of 28 stars, including S2. "It really is amazing to see that we can describe the motions of that many stars" by assuming one massive central anchor, Gillessen says. "The stars fly around wildly, in all directions, at different radii. But all that governs that is simply Newton's law."
The motion of S2, Gillessen says, gives an outer boundary to the central object, which, combined with its inferred mass, helps prove that it is a black hole. "Having four million solar masses sitting there, not shining...and being confined by [the orbit of] the star S2 is really a convincing case," he says. In 2002, Gillessen says, S2 passed within 16 light-hours of the black hole's event horizon, or point of no return; two years earlier, another star passed even closer, around 11 light-hours.
Sheperd Doeleman, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Haystack Observatory in Westford, Mass., says that pinning down the black hole's parameters is important work and notes that both groups analyzed mounds of data "with particular attention paid to careful error analysis." At the same time, he says, the studies refine rather than redefine prior understanding of the nature of the galactic center.