Archive for September 7th, 2011

September 7, 2011

Scientists precisely locate black hole using the material it ejects

New research just published will help astrophysicists understand the formation of jets of matter ejected from supermassive black holes. This, in turn, will help understand conditions in the early universe, when such phenomena were much more common than now.

Scientists precisely locate black hole using the material it ejects – Nobel Intent

The galaxy M87 is one of the strongest sources of radio waves in the sky. Its black hole, accretion disk, and radio jet have been studied in the past, but it has been difficult to pin down the relative positions of the black hole and the base of the jets. Until now, at least: in today’s Nature, scientists report observations that map out the shape of the jet and, from that, extrapolate the position of the black hole—the two appear to be much closer than in other galaxies.

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September 7, 2011

Third experiment sees hints of dark matter

This sort of study attempts to detect actual dark matter particles as they pass by. Such experiments are increasingly sensitive, and seem to be showing “hints” of dark matter. The astrophysical evidence for dark matter is more extensive and diverse, but tells less about what dark matter actually is.

Third experiment sees hints of dark matter – New Scientist

A third experiment has detected tantalising signs of dark matter. The finding raises more questions than answers, however, as two other experiments have found no sign of the mysterious stuff, which is thought to create the gravity that holds spinning galaxies together, accounting for about 85 per cent of all matter in the universe.

Further reading

CRESST uncovers hint of dark matter

Results from 730 kg days of the CRESST-II Dark Matter Search

Hints of dark matter reported, again

September 7, 2011

Man’s Best Friends Know Who Their Best Friends Are

Dogs may know you better than you suspect…

Man’s Best Friends Know Who Their Best Friends Are – DISCOVER Magazine

Researchers and pet owners have long known that dogs can learn spoken commands and understand certain human gestures. But can they actually eavesdrop—that is, pick up information simply by watching interactions between people? Animal cognition researcher Sarah Marshall-Pescini and her colleagues at the University of Milan believe that dogs do indeed engage in interspecies snooping.