Tag Archives: Hole

So, we've seen the first-ever photo of a black hole. What happens now?

So, we've seen the first-ever photo of a black hole. What happens now?Is the adventure over? No, far from it: "The researchers who captured the first-ever images of a black hole don't plan to rest on their laurels."

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We Might Be About to See the First Ever Photo of a Black Hole

We Might Be About to See the First Ever Photo of a Black HoleAn announcement next week by the European Southern Observatory might contain the first-ever photo of a black hole's event horizon.

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We’re probably about to see the first-ever photograph of a black hole

We’re probably about to see the first-ever photograph of a black holeBlack holes are so strange that they're kind of hard to wrap your brain around. They're super-dense objects with gravitational pull so strong that nothing can escape them and, while we know they exist, astronomers have never actually photographed one. Weird, right?When it comes to spotting a black hole the distance is really what is holding humanity back. The nearest supermassive black hole to Earth is thought to be situated at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, but that's a long, long stretch for modern telescope technology. Other, smaller black holes are much closer, but still very difficult to spot.Now, researchers using a novel planet-wide imaging technique designed specifically to spot closer black holes are planning to make a major announcement, and there's really only one thing it could be.The announcement, which we believe will be the release of the first-ever images of an actual black hole, is an incredibly big deal. It's so big, in fact, that astronomers will be holding six individual press conferences to present the research in multiple countries around the world, from Belgium to Tokyo to Washington D.C., and "extensive supporting audiovisual material" will be released at the same time.The work was made possible by a network of telescopes around the world that collectively make up what is called the Event Horizon Telescope. The idea is that by combining the power of telescope positioned at different places on the planet, the team creates what is basically a virtual "Earth-sized" telescope capable of peering far deeper into the solar system than ever before.The research has been ongoing for over a decade, but as the telescope gains power it is capable of more advanced imaging, and it seems it's reached a point where capturing images of a black hole is possible.If the large astronomy team behind the work is indeed prepared to show us a real black hole for the first time it'll be an incredible day, and we can't wait to see it.

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Virginia's governor digs an even deeper hole with his 'indentured servants' comparison

Virginia's governor digs an even deeper hole with his 'indentured servants' comparisonGovernor Ralph Northam has dug himself so far into a hole I'm not sure who can rescue him.The Virginia governor is already under pressure to resign after a photo emerged of his yearbook page featuring two people, one in blackface and one dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member. The governor claimed he's not either of the people in that photo, but then admitted he once put shoe polish on his face for a Michael Jackson costume. Northam, who has so far resisted calls to resign, stirred up controversy on CBS This Morning Sunday after he initially referred to the Africans who landed on Virginia's shores hundreds of years ago as "indentured servants."SEE ALSO: Brand Twitter, please stay away from the 2020 election"We are now at the 400-year anniversary — just 90 miles from here in 1619. The first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort, what we call now Fort Monroe, and while — " Northam said on the show."Also known as slavery," Gayle King said, interrupting him."Yes," Northam conceded.> Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam: "We are now at the 400-year anniversary — just 90 miles from here in 1619. The first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort, what we call now Fort Monroe, and while–"@GayleKing: "Also known as slavery" pic.twitter.com/AiX96MU1rJ> > — CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 10, 2019Were Northam not in the situation he's in, this moment might have gone by unnoticed. As it is, however, the governor came under fire for seemingly minimizing this grotesque chapter of Virginia history:> Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called Black Americans who were forcefully enslaved "indentured servants" and Gayle King had to correct him. The fact that this man was not immediately removed from office after photos of him wearing Blackface and klan attire surfaced, is beyond me pic.twitter.com/rILtVbuLJE> > — Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) February 10, 2019> What can you do with a history degree? > > A better job than Governor Northam.> > — And no I do not yield. Not one second to you. (@GilmoreGlenda) February 10, 2019> STOP IT. Resign NOW. You are incapable of leading a state when you can't call slavery slavery. Black people were ENSLAVED. This is American History 101. t.co/4aoZb9CHsk> > — Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) February 10, 2019> My God, it just gets worse & worse. > > Asked about this week in VA, Northam responds by referring to kidnapped, enslaved, & trafficked Africans as "indentured servants."‍♂️ > > Thank you @GayleKing for shutting that downpic.twitter.com/PpPm0xceua> > — Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) February 10, 2019> INDENTURED SERVANTS FROM AFRICA. > > I'm going back to bed> > — Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) February 10, 2019> Virginia deserves a governor that knows the folks who were stolen from their land & brought to present day Virginia on cargo ships in 1619 were not "indentured servants" they were mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, leaders, warriors, elders who were captured & enslaved. SIGH> > — Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) February 10, 2019> This a classic old white Virginia guy thing to believe — the lore is that they were indentured servants, but there are no records suggesting that. Gets back to whether he is the best person to lead "racial healing." t.co/nTiKM3cC9w> > — Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 10, 2019> .@GayleKing showing exactly how you interview someone. What an incredible moment. t.co/puhwsrESKK> > — Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 10, 2019> To add a little context, as recently as the 80s/early-90s, rural Virginia public education re: VA's history leaned heavily on the "indentured servant" narrative. I had a teacher claim VA had only a few slaves (vs other states) & a bunch of folks happily working towards freedom> > — michael raumer (@mindpivot) February 10, 2019Other journalists and critics weren't so sure that Northam committed a grand gaffe on Sunday (though no one disputes how much trouble he's created for himself generally). > Northam is in enough trouble but this isn't part of it. The early black arrivals in the British North American colonies, and likely those at Jamestown, were often given the status of indentured servants. The slave system took time to evolve in the 17th century. @GayleKing t.co/zfGNGkQl5x> > — jelani cobb (@jelani9) February 10, 2019> I'll be clear about what I mean. Northam is actually correct about indentured servants arriving in 1619. I am happy that he is learning. He needs to grasp the history. But if he stays, what policies will he enact? Virginians need him to fight systemic racism, not pass an AP exam.> > — Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) February 10, 2019> No, they're not the same thing. But I believe the first Africans brought to the colonies were given the status of indentured servants. The system later became slavery. Northam's problem isn't this statement.> > — Matthew Rosenberg (@AllMattNYT) February 10, 2019Approximately 47 percent of Virginians believe Northam should step down, according to a new poll  conducted by The Washington Post-Schar School.Northam has pledged to remain in office despite public pressure. WATCH: 'Donald' cracks the annual worst-passwords list

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Astronomers spot black hole spinning unbelievably fast as it swallows up a star

Astronomers spot black hole spinning unbelievably fast as it swallows up a starBlack holes are some of the most interesting features of our universe, but they're also not very well understood. Studying distant black holes in any great detail is very difficult due to the fact that nothing, including light, can escape their grasp once its gets too close. Now, a black hole sitting some 290 million light years from Earth has offered scientists the rare opportunity to measure its speed, and the numbers are mind-boggling.

Researchers using the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae telescope network detected "a burst of light" from a specific spot in the sky back in 2014. Upon closer inspection and observations using additional instruments, scientists determined that the blast of X-ray energy was coming from a star, but not just any star. This star was in the midst of being torn apart by a black hole.

The star itself had no hope of escaping the black hole's grasp once it drifted into its event horizon — the area around a black hole from which nothing can escape — but the X-ray emissions from the star's fractured body were still visible as the debris circled the super-dense body.

It was determined that the signal coming from the black hole was repeating every 131 seconds, giving researchers the incredibly special chance to measure the speed at which the black hole is spinning.

"The fact that we can track this region of bright X-ray emission as it circles the black hole lets us track just how quickly material in the disk is spinning," MIT's Dheeraj Pasham, lead author of a study published in Science discussing the observations, said in a statement. "That gives us information about the spin rate of the supermassive black hole itself."

But how fast is it? The researchers estimate that the black hole is spinning at roughly half the speed of light, or maybe even faster. Light travels at nearly 300 million meters per second, or around 671 million miles per hour. Even at half that speed, the black hole is rotating at a truly unimaginable rate compared to anything humans are used to seeing.

"A non-spinning black hole is already an extraordinarily powerful object," study co-author Chris Fragile noted. "With rapid spin the black hole's power is turned up even higher."

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What does it mean if the hole in the ISS was drilled from the inside?

What does it mean if the hole in the ISS was drilled from the inside?There isn't much contest for the most bizarre space news story of the year. If anyone were to give away such an award it would definitely be handed to the bizarre saga of the leak that spontaneously appeared in the hull of a Soyuz spacecraft that was attached to the International Space Station several months ago. Now, with the ship itself safely back on Earth and the portion of the spacecraft that held the hole jettisoned during reentry, it's up to Russia to determine how the hole was created, when, and by whom.

The country's investigation into the strange incident has seemed messy to any outside observer, with statements from officials coming fast and furious in the days following the hole's discovery and then tapering off rapidly with no resolution. This week, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev told reporters that the hunt for the truth was in the hands of the Russian space program, but he also stated definitively that the hole was created from the inside.

Okay, so the hole was drilled from inside the spacecraft and wasn't drilled into the interior from the exterior, but what does that mean and is it important? Well, at the moment it doesn't mean a whole lot, especially if you place any weight on early statements from Russian officials who believed the damage was created during the spacecraft's manufacturing process.

Ships like Russia's Soyuz go through extensive testing and inspection before they're allowed to be strapped onto a rocket and shot into space. Everything has to be pretty much perfect for a ship to be cleared to take human passengers, and the fact that the hole wasn't addressed during the inspection and verification process is obviously peculiar.

Early on, rumblings out of Russia suggested that maybe one of the ISS crew members (a NASA astronaut, perhaps) had drilled the hole in order to cut a mission short so a sick crew member could return. Those assertions were quickly shot down by the crew and Russia rapidly denied suggesting that anyone aboard the ISS was responsible.

Assuming the damage was created when the ship was still on Earth, the fact that it was drilled from the inside might not mean all that much. The hole, which was apparently hidden with a low-quality patch job, ultimately posed no threat the crew, but it's still a nasty mark on Russia's Soyuz program which NASA and other international space groups have relied on to get scientists into space.

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Russia says the mysterious hole in its Soyuz rocket may have been sabotage

Russia says the mysterious hole in its Soyuz rocket may have been sabotageWe already knew that Russia was in the midst of an incredibly deep investigation into the origins of a strange hole that was found in a part of its Soyuz space vehicle earlier this year. The part of the ship that was damaged is no more — it was jettisoned during reentry and burned up — but samples taken from the damaged area are now being studied by Russian authorities as they try to explain how such a thing happened.

Sergei Prokopyev, one of the cosmonauts that rode back down to Earth last week aboard the Soyuz craft, told reporters at a new conference that the investigation is still ongoing. Samples gathered during a recent spacewalk should hopefully be the final piece to whatever puzzle officials are trying to piece together.

Russia's handling of the investigation has the full support of NASA, but it's worth noting that the country's messaging hasn't exactly been consistent in the days, weeks, and months following the discovery of the hole.

Initially thought to be damage sustained by a tiny space rock, once the hole was determined to be manmade a whole lot of finger pointing ensued. Russia's Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin seeded the idea that the hole was created while the spacecraft was docked to the ISS, hinting that it might have been the work of someone on board.

Those theories were squashed rather quickly and, in the days after the crew found the leak, word out of Russia suggested a culprit may have already been found. Those unofficial threads never materialized into anything more concrete, and we've now been waiting months for Russia to announce what it has found during the lengthy investigation.

Russia's early assertion that the hole was some kind of sabotage, perhaps during the manufacturing process, is an incredibly serious allegation. It's unclear what punishment one or more individuals might face if the country determines that someone intentionally tried to harm its cosmonaut crew (not to mention NASA astronauts), but now that ship itself is back on solid ground we might learn more before long.

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Hole in International Space Station was drilled deliberately, says Russian space agency

Hole in International Space Station was drilled deliberately, says Russian space agencyThe hole discovered in the International Space Station (ISS) was drilled deliberately, the Russian space agency has said. Last week mission controllers in Houston and Moscow noticed a drop in pressure on the station and astronauts discovered a hole in a Russian domestic module. Although the leak was small enough to be fixed by the crew, if it had not been spotted the astronauts would have run out of air in 18 days. Space debris or a micro-meteorite was initially blamed for the damage, but new pictures show the hole had been deliberately drilled and the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos and module manufacturer RSC Energia have launched an investigation to find the culprit. And one Russian politician and former cosmonaut has even claimed it could have been carried out by a homesick astronaut. Speaking to Russia’s International News Agency RIA Novosti, Maxim Suraev said on-board sabotage by a mentally unstable crew member could not be ruled out. “All of us are living people, everyone can want to go home, but this way is completely unworthy,” he said. The hole found in the ISS had been drilled  Credit: Nasa Mr Suraev also said that the ISS had a drill on board capable of making the hole.   Although Roscosmos said they were not accusing any of the crew, they said they had not ruled out that hole was drilled deliberately in space. They are also investigating whether it was an error made on the ground which was then patched up and was only noticed when the plug failed. Dmitry Rogozin, Head of Roscosmos, said: “Where were these actions taken – on Earth or already in orbit? “The version of the meteorite has already been swept away, but there was an obvious impact on the shelling of the ship from the inside, but to say more it is really too early. “It's up to RSC Energia to find out who did it, what is it: an error or intentional actions? I would like to know the name (of the culprit) and we will know.” When the leak was detected last week European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst initially plugged it with his finger, before the crew made an improvised patch using a rubber plug made from bin-bag seals, duct tape, gauze from the medical kit and vacuum proof sealant. The hole was sealed and a Russian Progress cargo ship docked at the ISS and Moscow is recommending using oxygen from its tanks to repressurise the station. As well as Gerst there are four other astronauts on board, Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel  and Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, and Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Nasa has yet to comment on the investigation.

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Illinois Man With Parrot on His Shoulder Rescued From Mud Hole by Firefighters

Illinois Man With Parrot on His Shoulder Rescued From Mud Hole by FirefightersThe bird got stuck in the mud, then its owner got stuck in the mud trying to rescue it.

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Crews rescue deaf puppy stuck in hole for 30 hours in Alabama

Crews rescue deaf puppy stuck in hole for 30 hours in AlabamaAfter 30 hours of effort, volunteers were able to rescue a 7-week-old deaf puppy that fell down a 50-foot (15-meter) crevice behind a house in Alabama.

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