Stuart's Spectacular Students

This is dedicated to my amazing students. The goal is for each and every one of them to feel unstoppable by the time they walk out of the classroom door for the final time in May. This chronicles their journey; their own Chronicles of Self-Actualization.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

US astronomers spot massive, record-setting stellar-mass black hole

Wed Oct 31, 4:14 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US astronomers have discovered the biggest black hole orbiting a star 1.8 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia, with a record-setting mass of 24 to 33 times that of our Sun, NASA said Tuesday.

The massive newcomer beats the previous stellar-mass black hole discovered October 17 in the M33 galaxy that has 16 times the mass of our Sun, the US space agency said.

Like the much larger, supermassive black holes found at galaxy centers, stellar-mass black holes have such powerful gravity fields that not even light can escape them. Astronomers estimate their mass by measuring their gas emissions and the gravitational effect on the stars they orbit.

"We weren't expecting to find a stellar-mass black hole this massive," says Andrea Prestwich of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Lead author of the discovery paper in the November 1 Astrophysical Journal Letters, Prestwich and his team found the new stellar-mass black hole using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

"We now know that black holes that form from dying stars can be much larger than we had realized," he added.

Prestwich's team was able to measure the black hole's mass because it has an orbiting companion: a hot, highly evolved star. The star is ejecting gas in the form of a wind.

Some of this material spirals toward the black hole, heats up, and gives off powerful X-rays before crossing the point of no return.


  • At 1:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hello i love the blog but i have a
    thing to ad. black holes have alot of mass but barly any volume and it is made up of dark matter. what it means it leaves to you to find out.

    andrew the since man

  • At 1:53 PM , Anonymous miggs said...

    i will do two experetments 1.density 2.earths layers

  • At 8:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i will do an experiment on space, james


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