Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hidden Black Holes


The August 1 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters reports a new class of "hidden" Black Holes. These Active Galactic Nuclei give off jets of radiation, but are surrounded by dust so that no light reaches us. Only X-ray spacecraft like Swift and Suzaku were able to detect them. Hidden AGN's could make up 20 percent of the X-ray background.

AGN's have appeared as different types of objects depending upon viewing angle. Their central Black Holes give off twin jets of radiation. When one of the jets points toward us, the galaxy is called a blazar. From a slightly different angle they appear as quasars. Seen edge-on they appear as radio galaxies. Every galaxy yet found contains at its centre a massive Black Hole.

Since every galaxy contains one, it is painfully obvious that Black Holes were there first. The Big Bang created countless billions of singularities in a variety of sizes. They formed the seeds of clusters, galaxies and even smaller structures. Small Black Holes gathered around the big ones, forming haloes of dark mass. Many times these dark mass particles collided with gas in a galaxy's disk. These collisions triggered the formation of stars and solar systems. Our own solar system would not have formed without Black Holes.

In conclusion, Black Holes are not the monsters that people make them out to be. Our life could not have evolved without them. They are close by, even in our planet, so quiet that we barely notice their presence. It is best to say, Black Holes are friends!

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16 Comments:

Anonymous lubos motls said...

"...it is painfully obvious that Black Holes were there first". Your logic is just painful. More conjectures based on nothing.

Best
Lubos

5:02 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Nice to hear from you again, Lubos. This is easier than the chicken-and-egg question. If every galaxy examined contains a Black Hole, and elsewhere Black Holes have been found without galaxies, which needs the other to form?

6:19 PM  
Anonymous alex said...

:)

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Eric B said...

Adopt a black hole!

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Eric B said...

>>>If every galaxy examined contains a Black Hole, and elsewhere Black Holes have been found without galaxies, which needs the other to form?

Hi, Ms. L,

Respectfully, I don't that follows. I think it's a non sequitur.

I really enjoy your blog and your excellent writing.

Best from Eric

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do we know that's really Lubos? He misspelt the surname.

6:29 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

The evidence for massive Black Holes in the early Universe is more than just the fact that every galaxy contains one. Without BH's it is difficult simulating how galaxies form at all. There are also the twin jets characteristic of a BH, occurence of magnetic fields,...

7:29 PM  
Anonymous dc said...

enjoy observations backing a viewpoint... a glimpse of scientific method in progress. Also enjoy this site's diversity and its Carl Sagan-like charisma amid a high calibre audience.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Eric B said...

>>>>>>The evidence for massive Black Holes in the early Universe is more than just the fact that every galaxy contains one. Without BH's it is difficult simulating how galaxies form at all. There are also the twin jets characteristic of a BH, occurence of magnetic fields,...

K. Adopt a black hole!

1:42 PM  
Anonymous alex said...

It is a great blog.I like it

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen the August 2007 issue of Physics Today? It has a feature article by Jon M. Miller and Christopher S. Reynolds (pages 42 to 47) that says:
"... Local spacetime geometry is not the only thing that black holes affect. The also profoundly influence galaxy formation and have an impact on scales as large as clusters of galaxies ... Mismatches between observations and standard theory strongly suggest that energy injection by black holes is an important part of galaxy formation. ...".
Maybe the article might not go as far as it could, but it might be seen as a step in the correct direction.

Tony Smith

6:59 PM  
Blogger davinci said...

You should update Wikipedia with this info.

8:03 AM  
Blogger davinci said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole
Intermediate-mass black holes, whose size is measured in thousands of solar masses, may exist. Intermediate-mass black holes have been proposed as a possible power source for ultra-luminous X ray sources.

8:06 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Tony and davince, it is August 9 and the month's issue of Physics Today has finally caught up with me. Fascinating that a cover story on Saturn's Rings shares the pages with Black Holes. The rings are an excellent place to search for Black Holes.

6:51 PM  
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