‘Echo mapping’ in faraway galaxies could measure vast cosmic distances

'Echo mapping' in faraway galaxies could measure vast cosmic distances
A disk of hot material around a supermassive black hole emits a burst of visible light, which travels out to a ring of dust that subsequently emits infrared light. The blue arrows show the light from the disk moving toward the dust and the light from both events traveling toward an observer. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

When you look up at the night sky, how do you know whether the specks of light that you see are bright and far away, or relatively faint and close by? One way to find out is to compare how much light the object actually emits with how bright it appears. The difference between its true luminosity and its apparent brightness reveals an object’s distance from the observer.


Measuring the luminosity of a celestial object is challenging, especially with black holes, which don’t emit light. But the supermassive black holes that lie at the center of

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Giant Black Hole Discovered At Centre Of Cosmic ‘Spider’s Web’

Astronomers have discovered six galaxies ensnared in the cosmic “spider’s web” of a supermassive black hole soon after the Big Bang, according to research published Thursday that could help explain the development of these enigmatic monsters.

Black holes that emerged early in the history of the Universe are thought to have formed from the collapse of the first stars, but astronomers have puzzled over how they expanded into giants.

The newly discovered black hole — which dates from when the Universe was not even a billion years old — weighs in at one billion times the mass of our Sun and was spotted by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Scientists said the finding helps provide an explanation for how supermassive black holes such as the one at the centre of our Milky Way may have developed.

This is because astronomers believe the filaments trapping the cluster of galaxies are carrying

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Astronomers discover supermassive black hole caught in a cosmic ‘spider’s web’

The bright galaxies are trapped in a cosmic web of gas that surrounds the quasar  SDSS J103027.09+052455.0


ESO/L. Calçada

The first billion years of the universe was about as chaotic as Tuesday’s first presidential debate. Galaxies were forming, gas was flowing… It was a real time. While we won’t want to look back on Tuesday too often, we do like to look back in time. And, in a cosmic sense, Earth is perfectly positioned to do so. Because of how long it takes light to travel across the universe, our telescopes can pick up the faint signals of what life was like in the universe’s very early days. 

On Thursday, astronomers announced the discovery of a massive, intriguing structure from when the universe was just 900 million years old. The structure, about 300 times the size of the Milky Way, contains a supermassive black hole that has ensnared six

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How Did The ‘Cosmic Crisp’ Apple Get Its Name?

The Cosmic Crisp: Coming soon to a grocery store near you. Credit: Shutterstock

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This fall, there’s a new apple all around town. After 20 years of development, the Cosmic Crisp has landed.

In this episode, we’re bringing you a special collaboration with another podcast called The Sporkful. They’re a James Beard Award-winning show that uses food as a lens to talk about science, history, race, culture, and the ideal way to layer the components of a PB&J. 

This episode is all about the Cosmic Crisp, how scientists developed it, and how it got that dazzling name.



Guests:

Helen Zaltzman is the host of The Allusionist podcast.

Dan Charles is a food and agriculture reporter at NPR.

Kate Evans is a horticulturist and the leader

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