January 12th, 2013 16:45 EST
NASA Finds Elusive Black Hole Using Advanced Imaging Technology
"Finding a Black Hole in Space is as exciting to scientists as a little kid finding their first Easter Egg sitting so elusive in plain view." (Anselm, R.)
And that`s what black holes do to scientist when they stumble upon one as it sits so innocently in plain view in the middle of nowhere almost having a personality of its own, almost acting like it wants to get caught or spotted because just like that little colored Easter Egg that sits in the middle of your front yard; it too wants to get found as those little kids stomp around the yard as if they were big game hunters out on a Safari hunt trying to catch the most prizes. The little black hole sits high above Earth and just beyond our view becomes that little Easter Egg to NASA scientists as they too hunt for whatever they can find as they search for the unknown using some of the most advanced technology that would make Albert Einstein re-think the formula for the Theory of Relativity.
Technology has advanced so far in the past one-hundred years when it comes to space exploration NASA has become the Albert Einstein of the most up-to-date ways to explore. Recently, NASA stumbled upon tow black holes using one of its most advanced set of x-ray eyes known as the NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) as the two little black holes glowed brilliantly as if they were two little campfires getting spotted from a distance.
Lou Kaluzienski who is NuSTAR Program Scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. commented on this new and exciting find by saying, "These new images showcase why NuSTAR is giving us an unprecedented look at the cosmos. With NuSTAR`s greater sensitivity and imaging capability, we`re getting a wealth of new information on a wide array of cosmic phenomena in the high-energy X-ray portion of the electromagnetic spectrum." (Kaluzienski, L)
With the ongoing advancements in technology by NASA it`s no wonder we keep hearing about the possibility of a space program in the future that would allow tourists to take weekend trips to the moon. Forget heading to the lake or beach on those warm and sunny Saturday mornings where you pop out of bed like you were on a mission to start you summer tanning session early, pop out of bed, grab your lunar lounge chair and galactic sun tan lotion and head to the nearest NASA space station to board the bus to take that weekend trip to that big round glowing rock that lights up the sky each night because as NASA continues to advance space technology this is the direction where we are more than likely heading.
NASA`s NuSTAR telescope is the first telescope with the advanced technology to be able to focus on high-energy X-ray light while in orbit. It`s the same concept as the difference in having a plasma television and a 1980s version of a television; the graphics are the difference in the two televisions as night is to day. The NuStar telescope can view objects in extensively greater detail and other NASA technology used on past various missions. Having this technology give scientist a more defined view of what they are studying thus letting them know more in-depth details of about the object.
The recent NuSTAR mission is to find and seek out black holes lurking in and around our galaxy. The most recent search includes finding black holes in the inner region of the Milky Way galaxy. Along the way NASA has also bumped into other high-energy objects which also include a barrage of incredibly dense cores of dead stars which are star that have lost their spark or energy. This information will also give scientists more details of what types of energy sources are out there to study and analyze.
As NuSTAR combs the galaxy for wondrous entities it will in addition find other large targets as it recently did when it also found the spiral galaxy known as IC342 and Caldwell Five. This large galaxy that probably looks like you were standing in one of the large amusement parks and looking from the ground up at one of the many large roller coaster rides that has miles of spiral track and hair pin dips that would even make the bravest roller coaster warrior lose their lunch; is seven-million light-years away and located in the constellation Camelopardalis. This is the area where NuSTAR has discovered the two little black holes it recently found. Previous X-ray observations of the galaxy from NASA`s Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed the presence of two blinding black holes, called ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) (nasa.gov)
These two black holes have been determined by NASA to not be as powerful as some of the other super massive black holes that sit at the heart of other large galaxies but these two mysteries are at least ten times brighter than other stellar-mass black holes that are basically peppered among lots of star in our own galaxy. Astronomers think ULXs could be less common intermediate-mass black holes, with a few thousand times the mass of our sun, or smaller stellar-mass black holes in an unusually bright state. A third possibility is that these black holes don`t fit neatly into either category (nasa.gov)
Fiona Harrison who is NuSTAR principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena commented on this by stating, "High-energy X-rays hold a key to unlocking the mystery surrounding these objects. Whether they are massive black holes, or there is new physics in how they feed, the answer is going to be fascinating."(Harrison, F.)
That`s definitely true when it comes to science in general and even more fascinating and mysterious when it comes to space exploration. NASA is the Barney Fife`s of policing and finding information about space exploration that will make the science geeks thirsting for more information.
What is really fascinating about these two black holes when being viewed through the lens of the NuSTAR telescope is that the high-energy light has been translated into the color magenta and in the background the rest of the galaxy is viewed and shown in visible light which really shows high graphics of the two black holes.
Fiona Harrison went on to comment about this by also saying, "Before NuSTAR, high-energy X-ray pictures of this galaxy and the two black holes would be so fuzzy that everything would appear as one pixel."(Harrison, F.)
This comment sums it up about what I was saying about the difference in graphics between a plasma television and old 1980s technology of televisions; with NuSTAR this high-energy X-ray pictures will define every little detail about what scientists are looking at which will prove to be a great asset for other space junk NASA discovers.
So, if you are taking a casual stroll on your ten speed mike one evening and you find yourself riding down one of the large hills that surround any part of the western United States and is probably the best areas to view space since there is more open wilderness than any other part of our country, and you see two round lights that look like an Owl was looking at you from high above, don`t grab your cell phone and call the local law enforcement agency and report you are looking at an UFO, just remember that those two round lights are probably some entity in space that NASA may be one-step behind to discovering or maybe those two round lights could be another set of mysterious black holes that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Just keep your eye to the sky and enjoy the view.
NASA`S NUSTAR CATCHES BLACK HOLES IN GALAXY WEB, (http://www.nasa.gov/nustar) Retrieved January 2013.
Hey, all you Baseball fans and sports fanatics out there keep an eye out for my next book on the complete game and history of Major League baseball. Buy your copy when it is available in the market, it will be more fun to read than being part of a game ending triple play in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game Seven of the World Series. Release date and title to come I will let you know when I know from my publisher.