Tuesday September 24, 2019

NASA’s Chandra observatory spots oldest light in universe

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NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has evidence, that says astronomers have discovered a jet from a very distant supermassive black hole being illuminated by the oldest light in the universe.

The discovery found that after the Big Bang, the black holes having powerful jets may be more common than previously thought in the first few billion years.

After 2.7 billion years, the light detected from this jet was emitted. That was a fifth of its present age.

At this point, the intensity of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) left over from the Big Bang was much greater than it is today.

Co-author Lukasz Stawarz of Jagiellonian University in Poland explained
“We essentially stumbled onto this remarkable jet because it happened to be in Chandra’s field of view while we were observing something else,”

The length of the jet, found in the system known as B3 0727+409, is at least 300,000 light years.

Many big jets which emittes supermassive black holes has been detected in the nearby universe, but how these jets give off X-rays has remained a matter of debate.

In B3 0727+409, it appears that the CMB is being boosted to X-ray wavelengths.

Aurora Simionescu at JAXA’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Studies (ISAS) who led the study, said.
“Because we are seeing this jet when the universe was less than three billion years old, the jet is about 150 times brighter in X-rays than it would be in the nearby Universe,”
Electrons in black hole jets usually emit strongly at radio wavelengths, so typically these systems are found using radio observations.

The discovery of the jet in B3 0727+409 is special because so far almost no radio signal has been detected from this object while it is easily seen in the X-ray image.

“Supermassive black hole activity, including the launching of jets, may be different in the early Universe than what we see later on,” noted study co-author Teddy Cheung of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

By researching more, about these jets, scientists can start to grasp how the properties of supermassive black holes might change over billions of years.

The results were published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.(IANS)

Next Story

Scientists Analysing Images Taken by NASA of Vikram Moon Lander

Therefore, it could be difficult to identify right now (and it) may be a little longer before we have another opportunity

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Scientists, Images, NASA
But he added, "It is important to remember that the illumination conditions right now where the lander may be are harsh." Pixabay

Scientists are analysing the images taken under harsh light conditions by the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Camera of the area where the Vikram moon lander is likely to have touched down on the moon and it may be a while before they can locate it, project experts told IANS.

LRO project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Noah Petro, said on Wednesday that they were now analysing the images taken on Tuesday “and we will make a statement at some point when we can identify the lander.”

But he added, “It is important to remember that the illumination conditions right now where the lander may be are harsh.”

Therefore, it “could be difficult to identify right now (and it) may be a little longer before we have another opportunity to image the landing site next October 14” when the LRO next passes over that area of the moon.

Scientists, Images, NASA
Scientists are analysing the images taken under harsh light conditions by the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Camera of the area. Pixabay

The principal investigator for the LRO camera, Mark Robinson of Arizona State University, said that the last image of the area was acquired on Wednesday and will take time to analyse as there are “lots and lots and lots of pixels” to go through.

A NASA statement carried a note of caution saying that when the LRO flew over the Vikram landing the “local lunar time was near dusk; large shadows covered much of the area.”

The LROC “acquired images around the targeted landing site, but the exact location of the lander was not known so the lander may not be in the camera field of view,” NASA said.

“The LROC team will analyze these new images and compare them to previous images to see if the lander is visible (it may be in shadow or outside the imaged area),” it added.

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Vikram lost contact with the Indian Space Research Organisation after it was launched by the Chandraayan 2 moon orbiter to touch down in the area of the moon’s south pole on September 6.

After following the intended trajectory, it deviated in the final moments during the last two kilometres of the descent and went silent.

Vikram carried a rover called Pragyan that was to have conducted experiments on the moon’s surface.

Aviation Week created some confusion on Wednesday with an erroneous headline, “NASA’s LRO fails to spot Chandraayan 2 Lander,” which was picked up by others.

Scientists, Images, NASA
LRO project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Noah Petro, said on Wednesday that they were now analysing the images taken on Tuesday “and we will make a statement at some point . Pixabay

Both the scientists IANS spoke to said the headline was wrong.

Robinson said: “They are rather astonishing because we haven’t had the images to look at yet. I don’t know where that came from.”

Petro said, “The headline is wrong. That was actually posted even before we had the data on the ground.”

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The publication later changed the headline to “NASA’s LRO Begins Search For Silent Chandrayaan-2 Lander.” (IANS)