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Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found, for the first time, sound waves from a supermassive black hole. The “note” is the deepest ever detected from any object in our Universe. The tremendous amounts of energy carried by these sound waves may solve a longstanding problem in astrophysics.
The black hole resides in the Perseus cluster of galaxies located 250 million light years from Earth. In 2002, astronomers obtained a deep Chandra observation that shows ripples in the gas filling the cluster. These ripples are evidence for sound waves that have traveled hundreds of thousands of light years away from the cluster’s central black hole.
The Veil Nebula is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus. It constitutes the visible portions of the Cygnus Loop, a large but relatively faint supernova remnant. The source supernova exploded some 5,000 to 8,000 years ago, and the remnants have since expanded to cover an area roughly 3 degrees in diameter. The distance to the nebula is not precisely known, but recent evidence from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) supports a distance of about 1,470 light-years.
Celestial ‘Snow Angel’ Dazzles in Hubble Telescope Photo
This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows Sh 2-106, or S106 for short. This is a compact star forming region in the constellation Cygnus (The Swan).
Just in time for the holidays, the Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a spectacular view of a star-forming region in our Milky Way galaxy that looks like a snow angel in deep space.
This region, called Sharples 2-106 (or S106 for short) is located nearly 2,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation of Cygnus (The Swan). The nebula is found in a relatively isolated part of the Milky Way, researchers said.
The S106 nebula measures several light-years across, and contains vast clouds of gas that resemble outstretched wings amidst an hourglass shape. The light from the glowing gas is colored blue in this image.
Hubble’s view captures furious activity in the nebula, with ridges and ripples of super-hot gas mixing with the cooler interstellar medium. A massive young star, called Infrared Source 4 or IRS 4, is responsible for this turbulence, scientists said.
The Heart Nebula lies some 7500 light years away from Earth. The nebula is formed by plasma of ionized hydrogen and free electrons.
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The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, orbits smack in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our own.
Previous research had hinted at the existence of such Earth-like planets, where liquid water could exist, but this is the first time such a life-friendly alien planet has been confirmed.
The planet is about 2.4 times wider around than Earth. It’s still unknown whether Kepler-22b has a rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a milestone to finding Earth-like planets.
“This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth’s twin,” Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington said