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Physics & Astronomy News

<p>This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals an unusual sight: a runaway quasar fleeing from its galaxy's central hub. A quasar is the visible, energetic signature of a black hole. Black holes cannot be observed directly, but they are the energy source at the heart of quasars — intense, compact gushers of radiation that can outshine an entire galaxy.</p>

<p>The green dotted line marks the visible periphery of the galaxy. The quasar, named 3C 186, appears as a bright star just off-center. The quasar and its host galaxy reside 8 billion light-years from Earth. Researchers estimate that it took the equivalent energy of 100 million supernovas exploding simultaneously to jettison the black hole. The most plausible explanation for this propulsive energy is that the monster object was given a kick by gravitational waves unleashed by the merger of two hefty black holes at the center of the host galaxy.</p>

<p>The Hubble image combines visible and near-infrared light taken by the Wide Field Camera 3.</p>

<p>Courtesy: NASA</p>
Gravitational Wave Kicks Monster Black Hole Out of Galactic Core
Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.
<p>Composite ALMA and optical image of a young Milky Way-like galaxy 12 billion light-years away and a background quasar 12.5 billion light-years away. Light from the quasar passed through the galaxy's gas on its way to Earth, revealing the presence of the galaxy to astronomers. New ALMA observations of the galaxy's ionized carbon (green) and dust continuum (blue) emission show that the dusty, star-forming disk of the galaxy is vastly offset from the gas detected by quasar absorption at optical wavelengths (red). This indicates that a massive halo of gas surrounds the galaxy. The optical data are from the Keck I Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Neeleman & J. Xavier Prochaska; Keck Observatory</p>
Milky Way-like Galaxies in Early Universe Embedded in 'Super Halos'
By harnessing the extreme sensitivity of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have directly observed a pair of Milky Way-like galaxies seen when the universe was only eight percent of its current age.

<p>NEOS Detector</p>

<p>Courtesy: ibs</p>
Finding the 'Ghost Particles' Might be More Challenging
Results from the NEOS experiment on sterile neutrinos differ partly from the theoretical expectations.
<p>Lithospheric magnetic field</p>

<p>Courtesy: ESA</p>
Earth’s Magnetic Field Reveals Details Of A Dramatic Past
ESA’s Swarm satellites are seeing fine details in one of the most difficult layers of Earth’s magnetic field to unpick – as well as our planet’s magnetic history imprinted on Earth’s crust.

Scientists Evade The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
The study, published in Nature, reports a technique to bypass the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
Using Light to Control Curvature of Plastics
Researchers have developed a technique that uses light to get two-dimensional (2-D) plastic sheets to curve into three-dimensional (3-D) structures, such as spheres, tubes or bowls.
The Cat’s Paw and Lobster Nebulae
The beautiful, glowing, cosmic clouds of gas and dust catalogued as NGC 6334 and NGC 6357 now have new names.

Science Facts

Sonic Boom

by NASA Explores and

: Image Courtesy NASAexplores They sound like thunder, but they're not. They're sonic booms, concentrated blasts of sound waves created as vehicles travel faster than the speed of sound. To understand how the booms are created, look to the ocean. On the sea, there are small ripples in the water. As a boat slowly passes through the ripples, they spread out ahead of the boat. As the boat moves faster, it breaks through the ripples more quickly, forming waves. If it goes fast enough, the waves can't spread out fast enough, and they form a wake, which is much larger than a single wave. It is formed out of all the little waves that would have spread out ahead of the boat, but couldn't, because of the boat's speed. Now picture the same thing happening in the air. Instead of a boat, there is an airplane moving through the sky. When a plane travels through the air, it produces sound waves. You can't see sound waves like you can see waves of water, but they're still there.

If the plane is traveling slower then the speed of sound, then sound waves can spread out ahead of the plane. If it breaks the sound barrier and flies faster than the speed of sound, it produces a sonic boom when it flies past. The boom is the wake of the plane's sound waves. All the sound waves that would have normally spread out ahead of the plane are combined together, and you hear the boom. When you're on the shore of the ocean and a boat zooms past, at first there is no disturbance in the water, but shortly after, a large wave from the wake crashes up to the shore. When a plane flies past at supersonic speeds, the same thing happens. Instead of the large wake wave, you'll hear a sonic boom. Another way to think of sonic booms is to imagine all the molecules that make up our air. When planes fly through the air at moderate speeds, the molecules have time to move aside to let the plane through.

If the aircraft goes too fast, though, the molecules can't move aside, and the plane slams right into them--boom! A plane traveling below the speed of sound is going at subsonic speeds. Traveling at the speed of sound is transonic; speeds one times the speed of sound are supersonic, and hypersonic speeds are more than five times the sound barrier. Mach is another way of referring to the speed of sound. Flying at Mach 2, for instance, means you're flying at twice the speed of sound. How fast is the speed of sound? The answer depends on several factors, including how high the airplane may be flying--air becomes less dense at higher elevations, and it's easier for sound waves to travel. The generally accepted figure for the speed of sound is 1,220 kilometers (760 miles) per hour, which is the speed of sound at sea level.

Get the Point?

The discus and javelin first appeared in ancient game competitions in 708 B.C. Javelin events included both target throwing and distance throwing using a sling. By 1780, the javelin was adopted as an ...
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Images from the EIT (Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) instrument on the SOHO spacecraft.
Ultraviolet Light

Ultraviolet light is a form of radiation which is not visible to the human eye. It's in an invisible part of the 'electromagnetic spectrum'. Radiated energy, or radiation, is given off by many objects ...
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X-rays can be produced by a high-speed collision between an electron and a proton.
X-Rays - Another Form of Light

A new form of radiation was discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist. He called it X-radiation to denote its unknown nature. This mysterious radiation had the ability to pass through ...
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Albert Einstein

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