Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #579 - Black Holes Hide in our Cosmic Backyard



Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #579 - Black Holes Hide in our Cosmic Backyard & COSMIC ENCOUNTERS

Hi Mom,

I had a party last night in which I invited friends over for some COSMIC ENCOUNTERS play. I have been quiet about this party on social media because I could only invite six people because Cosmic is a six player game (actually seven with my expansions, but I miscounted).

So perhaps, I should remain quiet on social media so as not to make other people feel badly for missing a game party, but since by and large my blog is not well trafficked, I am not too concerned about revealing here the fact of my party. This revelation is more for my own records just to make a note that the party took place for posterity. Ostensibly, the party was for my 55th birthday. The last time I hosted a Cosmic party was in 2012 for my 50th. However, if any of my dear gamer friends happen to venture here, Liesel is about to be out of town for a week, and I plan at least one more party if not more than one.

Anyway, here's some graphics from the various versions of Cosmic Encounters plus some links to the game for those who come here via Google search and two videos.

It's a great game. Possibly my favorite board game.

And since the game is about space and aliens, this article on black holes seemed like a good share. I have been working on a post with more original content and I am due for a blog re-cap, but both are too ambitious for today. I am quite tired from staying up very late (1 a.m.) and I need to chill. I have a small amount of work, and then I am in the Sunday relaxing and reading mode. I would already be on the couch, but Liesel and I just took the dogs for a walk on the Kal Haven trail.

More tomorrow, Mom.

















FROM: http://www.deepstuff.org/black-holes-hide-cosmic-backyard/


Black Holes Hide in Our Cosmic Backyard


Monster black holes sometimes lurk behind gas and dust, hiding from the gaze of most telescopes. But they give themselves away when material they feed on emits high-energy X-rays that NASA’s NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission can detect. That’s how NuSTAR recently identified two gas-enshrouded supermassive black holes, located at the centers of nearby galaxies.
“These black holes are relatively close to the Milky Way, but they have remained hidden from us until now,” said Ady Annuar, a graduate student at Durham University in the United Kingdom, who presented the results at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, Texas. “They’re like monsters hiding under your bed.”


Both of these black holes are the central engines of what astronomers call “active galactic nuclei,” a class of extremely bright objects that includes quasars and blazars. Depending on how these galactic nuclei are oriented and what sort of material surrounds them, they appear very different when examined with telescopes.
Active galactic nuclei are so bright because particles in the regions around the black hole get very hot and emit radiation across the full electromagnetic spectrum — from low-energy radio waves to high-energy X-rays. However, most active nuclei are believed to be surrounded by a doughnut-shaped region of thick gas and dust that obscures the central regions from certain lines of sight. Both of the active galactic nuclei that NuSTAR recently studied appear to be oriented such that astronomers view them edge-on. That means that instead of seeing the bright central regions, our telescopes primarily see the reflected X-rays from the doughnut-shaped obscuring material.
“Just as we can’t see the sun on a cloudy day, we can’t directly see how bright these active galactic nuclei really are because of all of the gas and dust surrounding the central engine,” said Peter Boorman, a graduate student at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

Black Holes Hide in Our Cosmic Backyard
Galaxy NGC 1448 with Active Galactic NucleusThis galaxy, called IC 3639, also contains an example of an obscured supermassive black hole. This galaxy, called IC 3639, also contains an example of an obscured supermassive black hole. Credit: ESO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI
Boorman led the study of an active galaxy called IC 3639, which is 170 million light years away. Researchers analyzed NuSTAR data from this object and compared them with previous observations from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the Japan-led Suzaku satellite. The findings from NuSTAR, which is more sensitive to higher energy X-rays than these observatories, confirm the nature of IC 3639 as an active galactic nucleus. NuSTAR also provided the first precise measurement of how much material is obscuring the central engine of IC 3639, allowing researchers to determine how luminous this hidden monster really is.
More surprising is the spiral galaxy that Annuar focused on: NGC 1448. The black hole in its center was only discovered in 2009, even though it is at the center of one of the nearest large galaxies to our Milky Way. By “near,” astronomers mean NGC 1448 is only 38 million light years away (one light year is about 6 trillion miles).
Annuar’s study discovered that this galaxy also has a thick column of gas hiding the central black hole, which could be part of a doughnut-shaped region. X-ray emission from NGC 1448, as seen by NuSTAR and Chandra, suggests for the first time that, as with IC 3639, there must be a thick layer of gas and dust hiding the active black hole in this galaxy from our line of sight.
Researchers also found that NGC 1448 has a large population of young (just 5 million year old) stars, suggesting that the galaxy produces new stars at the same time that its black hole feeds on gas and dust. Researchers used the European Southern Observatory New Technology Telescope to image NGC 1448 at optical wavelengths, and identified where exactly in the galaxy the black hole should be. A black hole’s location can be hard to pinpoint because the centers of galaxies are crowded with stars. Large optical and radio telescopes can help detect light from around black holes so that astronomers can find their location and piece together the story of their growth.
“It is exciting to use the power of NuSTAR to get important, unique information on these beasts, even in our cosmic backyard where they can be studied in detail,” said Daniel Stern, NuSTAR project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
NuSTAR is a Small Explorer mission led by Caltech and managed by JPL for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. NuSTAR was developed in partnership with the Danish Technical University and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The spacecraft was built by Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Virginia. NuSTAR’s mission operations center is at UC Berkeley, and the official data archive is at NASA’s High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center. ASI provides the mission’s ground station and a mirror archive. JPL is managed by Caltech for NASA.

Featured Image: NGC 1448, a galaxy with an active galactic nucleus hidden by gas and dust, is seen in this image. Image credit: Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey/NASA/JPL-Caltech
Read more at http://www.deepstuff.org/?p=15484#6DZejDOUKyyz3qzP.99

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 581 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1702.05 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.
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