Why Doesn't This Black Hole Emit X-rays?

In summary, the press release discusses new research on black holes using data from the GALEX and Chandra X-ray observatories. However, the press release was written by public relations personnel and may not accurately represent the scientific findings. The researchers also used data from optical telescopes.
  • #1
Labguy
Science Advisor
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061206/sc_nm/blackhole_dc

If this were the case as explained, wouldn't we be detecting in X-ray also?
 
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  • #2
Hi, Labguy,

You asked about http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061206/sc_nm/blackhole_dc , and I have a general comment about such items: don't forget that press releases like are often not written by the scientists who did the research, but by public relations persons who are not scientists and who therefore tend to misunderstand the scientific issues mentioned to a greater or lesser extent.

Labguy said:
If this were the case as explained, wouldn't we be detecting in X-ray also?

The press release did mention that GALEX is sensitive to UV, not X-ray, which probably explains why X-rays are not mentioned prominently in this particular press release. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=GALEX&oldid=91094687; note that I have linked to a specific version using the "permanent link" button, and that this version includes links to the GALEX home page at Caltech. (In using Wikpedia, you should always make allowance for the fact that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time. WP articles on topics currently in the news are often highly unstable and may be highly inaccurate at any given moment.)

The press release also mentions that the scientists in question also employed data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (which is sensitive to X-rays) and to optical telescopes (which are sensitive to ordinary light).

Chris Hillman
 
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  • #3


Thank you for bringing up this important question. It is true that X-ray emissions are often associated with black holes, and this has been observed in many cases. However, the particular black hole discussed in this news release is unique in that it is not actively feeding on surrounding matter, which is what typically produces X-ray emissions. Instead, it is a "quiet" black hole, meaning it is not actively accreting matter and therefore does not emit X-rays. This is why the scientists were able to measure its mass using radio signals, as opposed to X-rays. This discovery sheds new light on the nature of black holes and their behavior, and further research will likely continue to reveal more about these mysterious objects.
 

Related to Why Doesn't This Black Hole Emit X-rays?

1. What is a black hole?

A black hole is a region of space where the gravitational pull is so strong that nothing, including light, can escape from it. It is formed when a massive star collapses under its own weight.

2. How was the news about a black hole released?

The news about a black hole was released through a press conference held by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration. They announced the first-ever direct image of a black hole on April 10, 2019.

3. How was the image of the black hole captured?

The image of the black hole was captured using a network of eight telescopes around the world, collectively known as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). These telescopes were synchronized to create a virtual telescope the size of the Earth, allowing scientists to capture the image of the black hole in the galaxy Messier 87.

4. What does this discovery mean for our understanding of black holes?

This discovery provides strong evidence for the existence of black holes, confirming one of the key predictions of Einstein's theory of general relativity. It also opens up new possibilities for studying and understanding black holes and their role in the universe.

5. What are the implications of this news for future research?

This news has sparked a new era of research into black holes, as scientists now have a direct image to study and analyze. It also highlights the importance of collaboration and technological advancements in pushing the boundaries of our knowledge about the universe.

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