Posts tagged ian o'neill
We’ve found small black holes and we’ve found really, really big black holes. But what about the “inbetweener” black holes?
The very existence of this class of black hole is disputed, but a Japanese group of astronomers have found the potential locations of three intermediate black hole (IMBH) candidates inside previously unknown star clusters near the center of the Milky Way.
But what are IMBHs and why are they so important?
Image: Artist’s impression of one of the star clusters containing an IMBH. Credit: Keio University
This incredible slideshow by Space Editor Ian O’Neill.
Image: The first stars in the Universe doused the cosmos in ionizing radiation, beginning the “reionization era.” Credits: SLAC/KIPAC, John Wise and Tom Abel (simulation), Ralf Kaehler (visualization).
The Google+ Space Hangout Returns!
Week 2 of the Google+ Space Hangout was a great success, discussing everything from dark matter to exoplanets.
- Lori Cuthbert: hi. quick question
- Ian: fire away!
- Lori Cuthbert: is evvery star system on the same plane as us ie: edge-on?
- Ian: no
- Lori Cuthbert: or is it the orientation of the telescope?
- Ian: just a few
- Basically, they are generally randomly oriented to us. Some are side on, some are end on
- Lori Cuthbert: do they maneuver the telescopes around to look at the different star systems from different angles til they get lucky?
- Ian: With Kepler, they look at a wide patch of sky, waiting to see if one of the stars in the field of view dims.
- Lori Cuthbert: so they're just looking at ones that are oriented that right way
- Ian: when that happens, they know there's a system of planets edge-on
- Lori Cuthbert: so there could be bazillions more that aren't observable by us
- Ian: Totally
- Thats when another exoplanet detection method comes in. If they're not edge-on, and IF the planets are massive enough, they might "tug" on their star as they orbit
- Lori Cuthbert: oh that's right
- Ian: Some telescopes are set up to look for the "wobble" of stars
- Lori Cuthbert: they distort their stars' gravitational fields?
- Ian: But Kepler is the only 'scope capable of finding glow mass, tiny planets that are Earth sized
- Lori Cuthbert: i see.