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Nasa Announcement

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'In our cosmic neighbourhood' are the precise words. Meaning it could be anything fron within the solar system to within our local cluster of galaxies? Wide open to speculation.

Chandra is an X-ray telescope so whatever it is they have discovered, will be emiitting in that part of the spectrum.

My guess could be:

i) Something to do with the recent discovery of gamma ray sources perpendicular to the plane of our galactic disc at our galactic core

ii) One star in a binary system swallowing its companion

iii) A red giant swallowing a planet

iv) A new star forming which will likely iginte it's nuclear furnace imminently and become visible in the night sky

v) A dying star about to go supernova and hence spectacularly brighter.

I have a feeling though, we're all going to be terribly disappointed. Will this be a publicity stunt using viral-hyperbole to generate an unprecedented global audience for their webcast? It can't be that interesting, after all, none of the worlds press have jumped on it and no high ranking government official is scheduled to give an interview.

Such is the way NASA is desperate to maintain a presence in the face of it's changing role under successive administrations.

ffO.

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Doing a little more digging, the news conference will be hosted by the director of the astrophysics division and two astrophysicists:

Kimberly Weaver: specialising in black hole formation, starburst galaxies, galactic nucleii

Alexei Fillipenko: specialising in supernovae, black holes, gamma ray bursts and the expansion of the universe

The specialisation appearing in both of those credentials is black holes.

If so, the discovery of a black hole forming in our local neighberhood would be of great scientific interest. But like the mention of the word wrt LHC, it would cause alarm amongst the general public and may spark a media frenzy.

I wait to be blown away (nahhhht).

ffO.

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Tha fact that it is related to Chandra narrows it down a little - likely to be far away (how big is our "cosmic neighbourhood"?) and only (currently) detectable in the x-ray spectrum, which probably rules out the sun's twin idea. It could also be related to the discovery last month of a mad structure at the heart of the Milky Way that spews out symmetrical bubbles of gamma-ray emitting matter that each spread 25,000 light years above and below the galactic plane. Maybe Chandra has seen something there that Fermi hasn't? Maybe the 'other' end of a black hole (my wild conjecture). Either way, I am quite excited, but expect to be disappointed!

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I expect it wont be anything radical (unless you're deeply into physics) Most like something about light or dark matter or something?

I'd like it to be, they spotted a craft or they have found the 10th dimension.. unfortunately very very very unlikely!

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Its apparently confirmation Star Trek is real! :blink:

:rofl:

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A huge black hole is heading our way!!!!!!

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If only jobs headed my way like black holes do :lol: :good:

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Is no-one watching NASA TV??? I am at work and can't access it! What's going on?

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Is no-one watching NASA TV??? I am at work and can't access it! What's going on?

As far as I can make out they have discovered young black holes

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Youngest Black hole in our area (50 Million Light years away)

Press release below

NASA'S Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole

WASHINGTON -- Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood. The 30-year-old black hole provides a unique opportunity to watch this type of object develop from infancy.

The black hole could help scientists better understand how massive stars explode, which ones leave behind black holes or neutron stars, and the number of black holes in our galaxy and others.

The 30-year-old object is a remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light years from Earth. Data from Chandra, NASA's Swift satellite, the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton and the German ROSAT observatory revealed a bright source of X-rays that has remained steady during observation from 1995 to 2007. This suggests the object is a black hole being fed either by material falling into it from the supernova or a binary companion.

"If our interpretation is correct, this is the nearest example where the birth of a black hole has been observed," said Daniel Patnaude of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. who led the study.

The scientists think SN 1979C, first discovered by an amateur astronomer in 1979, formed when a star about 20 times more massive than the sun collapsed. Many new black holes in the distant universe previously have been detected in the form of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs).

However, SN 1979C is different because it is much closer and belongs to a class of supernovas unlikely to be associated with a GRB. Theory predicts most black holes in the universe should form when the core of a star collapses and a GRB is not produced.

"This may be the first time the common way of making a black hole has been observed," said co-author Abraham Loeb, also of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "However, it is very difficult to detect this type of black hole birth because decades of X-ray observations are needed to make the case."

The idea of a black hole with an observed age of only about 30 years is consistent with recent theoretical work. In 2005, a theory was presented that the bright optical light of this supernova was powered by a jet from a black hole that was unable to penetrate the hydrogen envelope of the star to form a GRB. The results seen in the observations of SN 1979C fit this theory very well.

Although the evidence points to a newly formed black hole in SN 1979C, another intriguing possibility is that a young, rapidly spinning neutron star with a powerful wind of high energy particles could be responsible for the X-ray emission. This would make the object in SN 1979C the youngest and brightest example of such a "pulsar wind nebula" and the youngest known neutron star. The Crab pulsar, the best-known example of a bright pulsar wind nebula, is about 950 years old.

"It's very rewarding to see how the commitment of some of the most advanced telescopes in space, like Chandra, can help complete the story," said Jon Morse, head of the Astrophysics Division at NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

The results will appear in the New Astronomy journal in a paper by Patnaude, Loeb, and Christine Jones of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra's science and flight operations from Cambridge.

For more information about Chandra, including images and other multimedia, visit:

http://chandra.nasa.gov

and

http://chandra.harvard.edu

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Ahh - found it. They have discovered a very young (only 30 years old!) black hole quite near to us. Well - 50 million light years away.

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Is no-one watching NASA TV??? I am at work and can't access it! What's going on?

I tried watching it, but it just shows some space man fiddling with his ship.

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http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nasas-chandra-finds-youngest-nearby-black-hole-108190609.html

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood. The 30-year-old black hole provides a unique opportunity to watch this type of object develop from infancy.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

The black hole could help scientists better understand how massive stars explode, which ones leave behind black holes or neutron stars, and the number of black holes in our galaxy and others.

The 30-year-old object is a remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light years from Earth. Data from Chandra, NASA's Swift satellite, the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton and the German ROSAT observatory revealed a bright source of X-rays that has remained steady during observation from 1995 to 2007. This suggests the object is a black hole being fed either by material falling into it from the supernova or a binary companion.

"If our interpretation is correct, this is the nearest example where the birth of a black hole has been observed," said Daniel Patnaude of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. who led the study.

The scientists think SN 1979C, first discovered by an amateur astronomer in 1979, formed when a star about 20 times more massive than the sun collapsed. Many new black holes in the distant universe previously have been detected in the form of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). However, SN 1979C is different because it is much closer and belongs to a class of supernovas unlikely to be associated with a GRB. Theory predicts most black holes in the universe should form when the core of a star collapses and a GRB is not produced.

"This may be the first time the common way of making a black hole has been observed," said co-author Abraham Loeb, also of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "However, it is very difficult to detect this type of black hole birth because decades of X-ray observations are needed to make the case."

The idea of a black hole with an observed age of only about 30 years is consistent with recent theoretical work. In 2005, a theory was presented that the bright optical light of this supernova was powered by a jet from a black hole that was unable to penetrate the hydrogen envelope of the star to form a GRB. The results seen in the observations of SN 1979C fit this theory very well.

Although the evidence points to a newly formed black hole in SN 1979C, another intriguing possibility is that a young, rapidly spinning neutron star with a powerful wind of high energy particles could be responsible for the X-ray emission. This would make the object in SN 1979C the youngest and brightest example of such a "pulsar wind nebula" and the youngest known neutron star. The Crab pulsar, the best-known example of a bright pulsar wind nebula, is about 950 years old.

"It's very rewarding to see how the commitment of some of the most advanced telescopes in space, like Chandra, can help complete the story," said Jon Morse, head of the Astrophysics Division at NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

The results will appear in the New Astronomy journal in a paper by Patnaude, Loeb, and Christine Jones of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra's science and flight operations from Cambridge.

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I tried watching it, but it just shows some space man fiddling with his ship.

Was on the "media" video section on the right.

An interesting find anyway, though I have to admit to being a little disappointed, ah well...

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It's so interesting, not even Spaceweather.com has it on site (currently) :rolleyes:

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Bit of thread topic but on the topic.. didn't want to make a new one for this, although depends on what reaction it sparks.

About 24hrs ago(monday early hrs) saw a star flashing bright many different colours like a disco, this was really sparkling, it was towards south about half way height between horizon and above . Anyone know what it is or why it done a disco? thanks.

Edit..watched it for at least half hr it didn't move.

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Bit of thread topic but on the topic.. didn't want to make a new one for this, although depends on what reaction it sparks.

About 24hrs ago(monday early hrs) saw a star flashing bright many different colours like a disco, this was really sparkling, it was towards south about half way height between horizon and above . Anyone know what it is or why it done a disco? thanks.

Edit..watched it for at least half hr it didn't move.

Did you stub your toe on something?

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quite possibly the planet Jupiter (which is prominent in the southern night sky at present)......the reason why it's twinkling is simply because of earth's atmosphere, and associated pollution, it refracts the light given off by the object......

....on second thoughts, judging by the time of night that you posted, it's probably not Jupiter, more likely Betelgeuse, Rigel, or most likley, Sirius (the brightest star in the night sky, and it would probably be quite low down in the sky ATM)....

BTW, probably worth putting this thread in its own thread, doesn't really belong in the 'NASA Announement' thread.. :)

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