Space telescopes reveal secrets of turbulent black hole

Sep 29, 2011
This image of the distant active galaxy Markarian 509 was taken in April 2007 with the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 2. Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Kriss (STScI), and J. de Plaa (SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research); Acknowledgment: B. Peterson (Ohio State University)

( -- A fleet of spacecraft including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered unprecedented details in the surroundings of a supermassive black hole. Observations reveal huge bullets of gas being driven away from the gravitational monster and a corona of very hot gas hovering above the disk of matter that is falling into the black hole.

A team led by Jelle Kaastra of SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research made use of data from ESA's XMM-Newton and INTEGRAL spacecraft (which study X-rays and , respectively), the (for ultraviolet observations with the COS instrument), and NASA's Chandra (X-ray) Observatory and Swift (gamma-ray) satellites.

The black hole that the team chose to study lies at the heart of the galaxy Markarian 509 (Mrk 509), nearly 500 million light-years away. This black hole is colossal, containing 300 million times the mass of the Sun, and is growing more massive every day as it continues to feed on surrounding matter, which glows brightly as it forms a rotating disk around the black hole. Mrk 509 was chosen because it is known to vary in brightness, which indicates that the flow of matter is turbulent.

The above image of Mrk 509 was taken in April 2007 with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. But using a large number of telescopes that are sensitive to different gave astronomers unprecedented coverage running from the infrared, through the visible, ultraviolet, X-rays, and into the gamma-ray band.

In this artist's illustration, turbulent winds of gas swirl around a black hole. Some of the gas is spiraling inward toward the black hole, but another part is blown away. Artwork Credit: NASA, and M. Weiss (Chandra X -ray Center)

The study is presented in a series of seven papers in the journal , with more expected to be published in coming months.

Explore further: Fermi satellite detects gamma-rays from exploding novae

More information: A full account of the research can be read on the SRON website at

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not rated yet Sep 29, 2011
The artist's conception is wrong. The gas above or below the accretion disk quickly becomes a plasma, blown up or down by the light from the disk. What happens next is unclear. My guess is that the pulses due to the uneven supply of gas result in charge separation in the plasma streaming away, and this creates powerful magnetic fields that further confine the plasma. (The plasma will be rotating in the same direction as the accretion disk, so charge separation will result in magnetic field lines parallel to the jets. The field will flip from time to time, making things suitably chaotic.)
1 / 5 (7) Sep 29, 2011
Observations reveal huge bullets of gas being driven away from the gravitational monster

Yes, observations violate models of:

a.) "Black Holes" that are not really black, and
b.) "Dead" nuclear embers of stars are violently energetic!

Why? The most powerful form of nuclear energy [1-3] was overlooked in nuclear rest mass data.

1. "Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy," JFE 19, 93-98 (2001)

2. "Neutron repulsion confirmed as energy source", JFE 20, 197-201 (2002)


3."Neutron Repulsion", The APEIRON Journal, in press (2011)

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel

4 / 5 (4) Sep 30, 2011
5 / 5 (2) Sep 30, 2011
"Yes, observations violate models of:

a.) "Black Holes" that are not really black, and
b.) "Dead" nuclear embers of stars are violently energetic!"

Well, yes, those 803 published peer reviewed papers on Markarian 501, I presume, are in error: http://ned.ipac.c...of=table

I look forward to your published objections to their conclusions regarding Mrk 501 on a point-by-point basis sometime in the future. I guess you're not ready, able or willing to publish at this time. ;-)
5 / 5 (2) Oct 01, 2011
oliver, remember when you said a neutron star can be any size and a single neutron could be a neutron star?. which actually goes against your nonsense you normally say. how can neutron repulsion be the energy source of a star made of 1 neutron?
5 / 5 (1) Oct 01, 2011

These observations of Mrk 501 reveal the presence of a very hot UV-emitting corona surrounding the inner regions of this active galaxy which extends beyond 15ly from the center. UV light from the disk energizes and forms outflows of extremely hot, x-ray emitting regions within the 15ly corona surrounding the disk.

It was observations by XMM-Newton that discovered five of these x-ray emitting outflows in the hot corona of Mrk 501. Further work with the COS instrument on the HST revealed cooler UV-emitting gas spiraling inward near the edge of the 15ly-wide corona surrounding the AGN.

These observations may indicate that past merger activity might be responsible for the AGN activity we currently see in this galaxy. The press release has links to several papers that detail this current work on this nearby active galaxy: http://www.sron.n...emid=754

5 / 5 (1) Oct 01, 2011
well oliver, answer my question.