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Space Science

NASA Satellite Sees Black Hole Belching Out Hundred-Million-Degree X-rays 74

The Bad Astronomer writes "NASA's NuSTAR satellite, designed to detect cosmic X-rays, detected a flare of high-energy emission coming from the Milky Way galaxy's central supermassive black hole. The X-rays were the dying gasp of a small gas cloud being torn apart, heated to a hundred million degrees, and then falling into the black hole itself. Events like this are relatively uncommon, so it's fortunate NuSTAR happened to be observing the black hole when it flared."
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NASA Satellite Sees Black Hole Belching Out Hundred-Million-Degree X-rays

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  • by dan_in_dublin ( 833271 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @05:47PM (#41745707)
    dont photons have an energy that is inversely proportional to the wavelength (shorter wavelenths = photons at higher energy).. i'm no particle physicist but something emitted the photon which is the particle by which the xrays and all em propagate.. then photons get released when electrons drop to lower energy levels in their atomic orbits.. so as the matter of the cloud compresesd in the effect of the black hole's gravitational pull, the temperature of the matter incresaes, the energy of the electrons increases correspondingly, the electroncs go to higher orbits around the atom and they drop back to lower orbits by releasing photons. so maybe they can measure the temperature of the atom at the point where the electron was released by looking at the wavelength / other properties of the photon ? wasnt the temperature of the big bang measured via the universal background radiation which is the photons released by the matter in the universe about 300,000 years after the big bang (the point at which temperatures had cooled sufficiently for electrons to get into stable orbits around atoms ?

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