astronomy

An artist’s impression of what an active galactic nucleus might look like at close quarters. The accretion disk produces the brilliant light in the centre. The broad-line region is just above the accretion disk and lost in the glare. Dust clouds are being driven upwards by the intense radiation. Credit: Peter Z. Harrington

One black hole or two? Dust clouds can explain puzzling features of active galactic nuclei

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), believe clouds of dust, rather than twin black holes, can explain the features found in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). The team publish their results today (14 June) in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Many large galaxies have an AGN, a small bright …

One black hole or two? Dust clouds can explain puzzling features of active galactic nucleiRead More »

Moon plays lead role in new astronomical technique

Lunar occultation sky maps of Cygnus X-1 obtained using the Lunar Prospector Gamma-Ray Spectrometer. The features correspond to the location of the Moon’s horizon, projected onto the celestial sphere (equatorial coordinates), during intervals when Cygnus X-1 rose and set relative to the spacecraft. Also shown is an illustration of the Lunar Prospector spacecraft. Credit: Richard …

Moon plays lead role in new astronomical techniqueRead More »

Hubble finds universe may be expanding faster than expected

This illustration shows the three steps astronomers used to measure the universe’s expansion rate to an unprecedented accuracy, reducing the total uncertainty to 2.4 percent. Astronomers made the measurements by streamlining and strengthening the construction of the cosmic distance ladder, which is used to measure accurate distances to galaxies near and far from Earth. Beginning …

Hubble finds universe may be expanding faster than expectedRead More »