Intergalactic gas brings supermassive black holes at the heart of galaxies to life

ENG: In the outer regions of the Milky Way, our blue planet rotates in its orbit around the Sun, the massive center of our Solar System. 26,000 light-years away, a supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* is at the center of our galaxy. It is a sleeping giant with a mass 4.3 million times greater than our sun. Black holes are immense forces in the Universe, but the mechanisms by which they grow have been a mystery to researchers. Researchers from DARK at the Niels Bohr Institute, along with a colleague in the US, have now succeeded in demonstrating one effective way that activates black holes and feeds their insatiable appetites: This happens as they devour intergalactic gas transported from one galaxy to another – in connection with a galactic collision or as one galaxy passes close to another.

When galaxies come into close contact, gas can travel between them and feed the galaxies’ central black holes. Here’s a galactic interaction, arp273, nicknamed the “Rose Galaxies” Image: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team
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Researchers successfully train a machine learning model in outer space for the first time

ENG: Data collected by remote-sensing satellites is fundamental for many key activities, including aerial mapping, weather prediction, and monitoring deforestation. Currently, most satellites can only passively collect data, since they are not equipped to make decisions or detect changes. Instead, data has to be relayed to Earth to be processed, which typically takes several hours or even days. This limits the ability to identify and respond to rapidly emerging events, such as a natural disaster.

Credit: Sentinel-2 data (ESA) processed by Vít Růžička
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SwRI models explain canyons on Pluto moon

ENG: In 2015, when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft encountered the Pluto-Charon system, the Southwest Research Institute-led (SwRI) science team discovered interesting, geologically active objects instead of the inert icy orbs previously envisioned. An SwRI scientist has revisited the data to explore the source of cryovolcanic flows and an obvious belt of fractures on Pluto’s large moon Charon. These new models suggest that when the moon’s internal ocean froze, it may have formed the deep, elongated depressions along its girth but was less likely to lead to cryovolcanoes erupting with ice, water and other materials in its northern hemisphere.

Courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest
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NASA’s Webb Catches Fiery Hourglass as New Star Forms

RO: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has revealed the once-hidden features of the protostar within the dark cloud L1527, providing insight into the beginnings of a new star. These blazing clouds within the Taurus star-forming region are only visible in infrared light, making it an ideal target for Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam). The protostar itself is hidden from view within the “neck” of this hourglass shape. An edge-on protoplanetary disk is seen as a dark line across the middle of the neck. Light from the protostar leaks above and below this disk, illuminating cavities within the surrounding gas and dust. The region’s most prevalent features, the clouds colored blue and orange in this representative-color infrared image, outline cavities created as material shoots away from the protostar and collides with surrounding matter. The colors themselves are due to layers of dust between Webb and the clouds. The blue areas are where the dust is thinnest. The thicker the layer of dust, the less blue light is able to escape, creating pockets of orange.

Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI. Image processing: J. DePasquale, A. Pagan, and A. Koekemoer (STScI)
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