Why Quasars Are So Awesome

When Quasars were first discovered the amount of light pouring out of such a tiny dot in space seemed impossible. A hysterical flurry of hypothesizing followed: swarms of neutron stars, alien civilizations harnessing their entire galaxy’s power, bright, fast-moving objects being ejected by our own galaxy’s core. But by the 1980’s we were converging on the most awesome explanation. It goes a little like this: Take a black hole of millions to billions times the mass of the sun. Where from? It turns out every decent-sized galaxy has one at its core. Now drive gas into the galactic core. One way this can happen is when galaxies merge and grow. That gas descends into the waiting black hole’s gravitational well and gains incredible speed on the way. It is swept up in a raging whirlpool around the black hole that we call an accretion disk, where its energy of motion is turned into heat. The heat-glow of the accretion disk is so bright that we can see quasars to the ends of the universe.

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2017 Year Of The Comets?

Rare Comet Visiting Inner Solar System For The First Time To Be Visible From Earth This January

C/2016 U1 NEOWISE may be seen using a pair of binoculars when it gets close enough to planet Earth. The comet follows an orbit that is possibly millions of years long.
Last year, NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission detected an object that may be possibly seen using only a pair of binoculars once it gets close enough to Earth.
The object, whose characteristics hint it is a comet, is known as C/2016 U1 NEOWISE. The celestial body releases dust as it gets near the sun just like other comets including comet 67P, which the Rosetta probe of the European Space Agency observed producing clouds of gas and dust as it got nearer the sun.

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How to See Black Holes

Find out how scientists are mapping the black holes throughout the Milky Way and beyond as well as the answer to the Escape the Kugelblitz Challenge Question. Were you able to save humanity?
Quasars, X-ray Binaries and Supermassive voids at the center of our galaxies,black holes take many forms. In this episode Matt tells us what these different types of black holes are and how scientists are using VLBI, Very Long Baseline Interferometry, to map the different black holes throughout the known universe.

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