Black Hole Pumps Iron

Sep 14, 2009
Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Waterloo/C.Kirkpatrick et al.; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA; Optical: Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope/DSS

( -- This composite image of the Hydra A galaxy cluster shows 10-million- degree gas observed by Chandra in blue and jets of radio emission observed by the Very Large Array in pink. Optical data from the Canada- France-Hawaii telescope and the Digitized Sky Survey shows galaxies in the cluster.

Detailed analysis of the Chandra data shows that the gas located along the direction of the radio jets is enhanced in iron and other metals. Scientists think these elements have been produced by Type Ia supernova explosions in the large galaxy at the center of the cluster.

A powerful outburst from the supermassive black hole then pushed the material outwards, over distances extending for almost 400,000 light years, extending beyond the region shown in this image. About 10 to 20 percent of the iron in the galaxy has been displaced, requiring a few percent of the total energy produced by the central black hole.

Outbursts from the central, supermassive black hole have not only pushed elements outwards, but have created a series of cavities in the hot gas. As these jets blasted through the galaxy into the surrounding multimillion-degree intergalactic gas, they pushed the hot gas aside to create the cavities. A relatively recent outburst created a pair of cavities visible as dark regions in the Chandra image located around the radio emission.

These cavities are so large they would be able to contain the entire galaxy, but they are dwarfed by even larger cavities -- too faint to be visible in this image - created by earlier, more powerful outbursts from the black hole. The largest of these cavities is immense, extending for about 670,000 light years.

Provided by NASA

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Sep 14, 2009
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5 / 5 (2) Sep 14, 2009
There cannot be a pulsar at the center of our sun...
How would you explain the existence of white dwarfs?
Also, if there was a pulsar, we would be able to detect its 'pulse' quite easily...
And finally, if you use the current solar model to calculate its gravitational force, you will find that the solar system is right on.
There are black holes; however, we cannot be certain whether or not there is a singularity or a much denser object that has 'size'.
We know that the volume of a neutron start decreases as it gains mass... This is a straight forward calculation which can be done using undergraduate thermal/statistical mechanics.
2.3 / 5 (4) Sep 14, 2009
It would certainly be doubtful that blackholes would exist at the center of galaxies or clusters of galaxies, if they even exist, because matter would be weightless at the center of galaxies and galaxy clusters. It is much more likely that most galaxies and galaxy clusters have a fairly strong magnetic field radiating out their poles. It would be this magnetic field extending 10's to 100's of thousands of light years beyond the poles that is expelling these ions of iron atoms.

1 / 5 (2) Sep 14, 2009
THe idea of an encased pulsar in our sun is strange, but entertaining, i suppose the metal layer would have to act as a farraday cage to suppress the pulsar signal, however, ts my gutfeeling that only stars in the later stages of their lives/burncycle would see an encapsulated pulsar (if any) and or that the star born from already iron-enriched gas, does the sun fit into this category?
2.5 / 5 (2) Sep 14, 2009
no, the center is often the bottom of the sink, once in the the sink it stays at the bottom, i suppose you would have to replace "weightless" with static, while the very center could remain in a static location due to more or less equal attraction from all sides, this doesn't count for accretion discs wich by definition are offcenter in relatieon to the surrounding galaxy, until their mass is swallowwed by the center.
5 / 5 (1) Sep 15, 2009
A 2006 paper by Wise, et al( ) describes and illustrates the "swiss cheese" topology of the hot gas surrounding Hydra A in Abell 780 and provides images of 3 sets of cavities mentioned in the release (esp. Figures 1-3). The paper referenced in the release ( ) describes the enhanced metallicity as extending 20-120kpc from the AGN nucleus of Hydra A. As the 2006 paper referred to a large amount of star forming gas & dust surrounding Hydra A, I wonder what the effects of this metal enhancement of the ICM might be? Btw, the 2006 paper gives an estimated mass of the SMBH in Hydra A as ~9x10^8 solar masses.
Sep 16, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
1 / 5 (2) Sep 17, 2009

1. There cannot be a pulsar at the center of our sun...
2. Also, if there was a pulsar, we would be able to detect its 'pulse' quite easily...
3. There are black holes; however, we cannot be certain . . .

1. The pulsar at the core of the Sun [See: "The origin, composition, and energy source for the Sun," paper #1041 (2001) 32nd Lunar & Planetary Sci. Conf.]

2. Pulses from the pulsar were detected and reported in Nature ["Is the Sun a pulsar?" Nature 270, 159 - 160 (10 November 1977); doi:10.1038/270159a0]

3. Repulsive forces of neutrons prevent formation of black holes ["Neutron repulsion confirmed as energy source", J. Fusion Energy 20 (2001) 197-201].

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