NASA Video Contributes Visual Aid to Mysterious Magnetic Flows
by Mitch Battros – Earth Changes Media
Fermi is picking up crazy charged particles via electromagnetic waves – and it’s detecting so many of them Fermi has been able to produce the first all-sky map of the very high energy universe.
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is a space observatory being used to perform gamma-ray astronomy observations from low Earth orbit. Its main instrument is the Large Area Telescope (LAT), with which astronomers mostly intend to perform an all-sky survey studying astrophysical and cosmological phenomena such as active galactic nuclei, pulsars, other high-energy sources and dark matter.
When asked what is the origin of these new found charged particles, and where do they come from? Dave Thompson, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center gave us his answer. “It’s a mystery, for one thing. About a third of the new sources can’t be clearly linked to any of the known types of objects that produce gamma rays. We have no idea what they are. The other two-thirds have one thing in common – astounding energy.”
Related Article – Milky Way ‘Haze’ May Be Dark Matter Signature
Strange radiation streaming from the core of our Milky Way galaxy may be a long-sought signal of dark matter, the elusive stuff thought to make up much of the universe. The Mayans call this ‘elusive stuff’ the new 5th element “Ether”.
Related Article - “Strange Charged Particles Streaming From Milky Way” The charged particles cannot be explained by the structural mechanisms in the galaxy, and it cannot be charged particles from supernova explosions. It is believed this could be proof of dark matter – otherwise, we have discovered an absolutely new (and unknown) mechanism of acceleration of particles in the galactic center.
Related Article - Caught up in a spiraling flow are magnetic fields, which accelerate hot material along powerful beams above the accretion disk. The resulting high-speed jet, launched by the black hole and the disk, shoots out across the galaxy, extending for hundreds of thousands of light-years. These jets can influence many galactic processes, of which is still to be determined.
An international team, led by researchers at MIT’s Haystack Observatory, has for the first time measured the radius of a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy — the closest distance at which matter can approach before being irretrievably pulled into the black hole.
The scientists linked together radio dishes in Hawaii, Arizona and California to create a telescope array called the “Event Horizon Telescope” (EHT) that can see details 2,000 times finer than what’s visible to the Hubble Space Telescope. These radio dishes were trained on M87, a galaxy some 50 million light years from the Milky Way. M87 harbors a black hole 6 billion times more massive than our Sun; using this array, the team observed the glow of matter near the edge of this black hole — a region known as the “event horizon.”
“Once objects fall through the event horizon, they’re lost forever,” says Shep Doeleman, assistant director at the MIT Haystack Observatory and research associate at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. “It’s an exit door from our universe. You walk through that door, you’re not coming back.”
Doeleman and his colleagues have published the results of their study this week in the journal Science.
Supermassive black holes are the most extreme objects predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity — where, according to Doeleman, “gravity completely goes haywire and crushes an enormous mass into an incredibly close space.” At the edge of a black hole, the gravitational force is so strong that it pulls in everything from its surroundings. However, not everything can cross the event horizon to squeeze into a black hole. The result is a “cosmic traffic jam” in which gas and dust build up, creating a flat pancake of matter known as an accretion disk. This disk of matter orbits the black hole at nearly the speed of light, feeding the black hole a steady diet of superheated material. Over time, this disk can cause the black hole to spin in the same direction as the orbiting material.
Caught up in this spiraling flow are magnetic fields, which accelerate hot material along powerful beams above the accretion disk The resulting high-speed jet, launched by the black hole and the disk, shoots out across the galaxy, extending for hundreds of thousands of light-years. These jets can influence many galactic processes, including how fast stars form.
‘Is Einstein right?’
A jet’s trajectory may help scientists understand the dynamics of black holes in the region where their gravity is the dominant force. Doeleman says such an extreme environment is perfect for confirming Einstein’s theory of general relativity — today’s definitive description of gravitation.
“Einstein’s theories have been verified in low-gravitational field cases, like on Earth or in the solar system,” Doeleman says. “But they have not been verified precisely in the only place in the universe where Einstein’s theories might break down — which is right at the edge of a black hole.”
According to Einstein’s theory, a black hole’s mass and its spin determine how closely material can orbit before becoming unstable and falling in toward the event horizon. Because M87’s jet is magnetically launched from this smallest orbit, astronomers can estimate the black hole’s spin through careful measurement of the jet’s size as it leaves the black hole. Until now, no telescope has had the magnifying power required for this kind of observation.
“We are now in a position to ask the question, ‘Is Einstein right?’” Doeleman says. “We can identify features and signatures predicted by his theories, in this very strong gravitational field.”
The team used a technique called Very Long Baseline Interferometry, or VLBI, which links data from radio dishes located thousands of miles apart. Signals from the various dishes, taken together, create a “virtual telescope” with the resolving power of a single telescope as big as the space between the disparate dishes. The technique enables scientists to view extremely precise details in faraway galaxies.
Using the technique, Doeleman and his team measured the innermost orbit of the accretion disk to be only 5.5 times the size of the black hole event horizon. According to the laws of physics, this size suggests that the accretion disk is spinning in the same direction as the black hole — the first direct observation to confirm theories of how black holes power jets from the centers of galaxies.
The team plans to expand its telescope array, adding radio dishes in Chile, Europe, Mexico, Greenland and Antarctica, in order to obtain even more detailed pictures of black holes in the future.
Christopher Reynolds, a professor of astronomy at the University of Maryland, says the group’s results provide the first observational data that will help scientists understand how a black hole’s jets behave.
“The basic nature of jets is still mysterious,” Reynolds says. “Many astrophysicists suspect that jets are powered by black hole spin … but right now, these ideas are still entirely in the realm of theory. This measurement is the first step in putting these ideas on a firm observational basis.”
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation.
COMING – (Part-2) New Magnetic Field Process Captures DARPA’s Attention
Why would a black ops agency such as DARPA be interested in magnetic fields?
Hmm, their mission is to “prevent strategic surprise from negatively impacting U.S. national security and create strategic surprise for U.S. adversaries by maintaining the technological superiority of the U.S. military…”
The new-found outflows of particles (pale blue) from the Galactic Centre. The background image is the whole Milky Way at the same scale. The curvature of the outflows is real, not a distortion caused by the imaging process. Credit: Radio image – E. Carretti (CSIRO); Radio data – S-PASS team; Optical image – A. Mellinger (Central Michigan University); Image composition, E. Bressert (CSIRO).
Enormous outflows of charged particles from the centre of our Galaxy, stretching more than halfway across the sky and moving at supersonic speeds, have been detected and mapped with CSIRO’s 64-m Parkes radio telescope.
Corresponding to the “Fermi Bubbles” found in 2010, the recent observations of the phenomenon were made by a team of astronomers from Australia, the USA, Italy and The Netherlands, with the findings reported in today’s issue of Nature.
“There is an incredible amount of energy in the outflows,” said co-author Professor Lister-Staveley-Smith from The University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth and Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO).
“The source of the energy has been somewhat of a mystery, but we know there is a lot there, about a million times as much energy as a supernova explosion (a dying star).”
From top to bottom the outflows extend 50,000 light-years [five hundred thousand million million kilometres] out of the Galactic Plane. That’s equal to half the diameter of our Galaxy (which is 100,000 light-years—a million million million kilometres—across).
“Our Seen from Earth, but invisible to the human eye, the outflows They match previously identified regions of gamma-ray emission detected with NASA’s Fermi Space Telescope (then-called “Fermi Bubbles”) and the “haze” of microwave emission spotted by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and Planck Space Telescope.
“Adding observations by the ground-based Parkes radio telescope to those made in the past by space telescopes finally allows us to understand how these enormous outflows are powered,” said Professor Staveley-Smith.
Previously it was unclear whether it was quasar-like activity of our Galaxy’s central super-massive black hole or star formation that kept injecting energy into the outflows.
The recent findings, reported in Nature today, show that the phenomenon is driven by many generations of stars forming and exploding in the Galactic Centre over the last hundred million years.
“We were able to analyse the magnetic energy content of the outflows and conclude that star formation must have happened in several bouts,” said CAASTRO Director Professor Bryan Gaensler.
Further analyses of the polarisation properties and magnetic fields of the outflows can also help us to answer one of astronomy’s big questions about our Galaxy.
“We found that the outflows’ radiation is not homogenous but that it actually reveals a high degree of structure – which we suspect is key to how the Galaxy’s overall magnetic field is generated and maintained,” said Professor Gaensler.
The research was led by Dr Ettore Carretti from the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation.
Professor Lister Staveley-Smith
ICRAR The University of Western Australia, and CAASTRO
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