1. That picture.

distant-traveller:

Big surprises can come in small packages

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have found a monster lurking in a very unlikely place. New observations of the ultracompact dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1 have revealed a supermassive black hole at its heart, making this tiny galaxy the smallest ever found to host a supermassive black hole. This suggests that there may be many more supermassive black holes that we have missed, and tells us more about the formation of these incredibly dense galaxies.




Lying about 50 million light-years away, M60-UCD1 is a tiny galaxy with a diameter of 300 light-years — just 1/500th of the diameter of the Milky Way. Despite its size it is pretty crowded, containing some 140 million stars. While this is characteristic of an ultracompact dwarf galaxy (UCD) like M60-UCD1, this particular UCD happens to be the densest ever seen.
Despite their huge numbers of stars, UCDs always seem to be heavier than they should be. Now, an international team of astronomers has made a new discovery that may explain why — at the heart of M60-UCD1 lurks a supermassive black hole with the mass of 20 million Suns.
"We’ve known for some time that many UCDs are a bit overweight. They just appear to be too heavy for the luminosity of their stars," says co-author Steffen Mieske of the European Southern Observatory in Chile. "We had already published a study that suggested this additional weight could come from the presence of supermassive black holes, but it was only a theory. Now, by studying the movement of the stars within M60-UCD1, we have detected the effects of such a black hole at its centre. This is a very exciting result and we want to know how many more UCDs may harbour such extremely massive objects."
The supermassive black hole at the centre of M60-UCD1 makes up a huge 15 percent of the galaxy’s total mass, and weighs five times that of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. "That is pretty amazing, given that the Milky Way is 500 times larger and more than 1000 times heavier than M60-UCD1," explains Anil Seth of the University of Utah, USA, lead author of the international study. "In fact, even though the black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy has the mass of 4 million Suns it is still less than 0.01 percent of the Milky Way’s total mass, which makes you realise how significant M60-UCD1’s black hole really is."
The team discovered the supermassive black hole by observing M60-UCD1 with both the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini North 8-metre optical and infrared telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, USA. The sharp Hubble images provided information about the galaxy’s diameter and stellar density, whilst Gemini was used to measure the movement of stars in the galaxy as they were affected by the black hole’s gravitational pull. These data were then used to calculate the mass of the unseen black hole.
The finding implies that there may be a substantial population of previously unnoticed black holes. In fact, the astronomers predict there may be as many as double the known number of black holes in the local Universe.
Additionally, the results could affect theories of how such UCDs form. One explanation is that M60-UCD1 was once a large galaxy containing 10 billion stars, and a supermassive black hole to match. "This galaxy may have passed too close to the centre of its much larger neighbouring galaxy, Messier 60," explains co author Remco van den Bosch of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. "In that process the outer part of the galaxy would have been torn away to become part of Messier 60, leaving behind only the small and compact galaxy we see today."
The team believes that M60-UDC1 may one day merge with Messier 60 to form a single galaxy. Messier 60 also has its own monster black hole an amazing 4.5 billion times the size of our Sun and more than 1000 times bigger than the black hole in our Milky Way. A merger between the two galaxies would also cause the black holes to merge, creating an even more monstrous black hole.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, D. Coe, G. Bacon (STScI)
    That picture.

    distant-traveller:

    Big surprises can come in small packages

    Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have found a monster lurking in a very unlikely place. New observations of the ultracompact dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1 have revealed a supermassive black hole at its heart, making this tiny galaxy the smallest ever found to host a supermassive black hole. This suggests that there may be many more supermassive black holes that we have missed, and tells us more about the formation of these incredibly dense galaxies.

    Lying about 50 million light-years away, M60-UCD1 is a tiny galaxy with a diameter of 300 light-years — just 1/500th of the diameter of the Milky Way. Despite its size it is pretty crowded, containing some 140 million stars. While this is characteristic of an ultracompact dwarf galaxy (UCD) like M60-UCD1, this particular UCD happens to be the densest ever seen.

    Despite their huge numbers of stars, UCDs always seem to be heavier than they should be. Now, an international team of astronomers has made a new discovery that may explain why — at the heart of M60-UCD1 lurks a supermassive black hole with the mass of 20 million Suns.

    "We’ve known for some time that many UCDs are a bit overweight. They just appear to be too heavy for the luminosity of their stars," says co-author Steffen Mieske of the European Southern Observatory in Chile. "We had already published a study that suggested this additional weight could come from the presence of supermassive black holes, but it was only a theory. Now, by studying the movement of the stars within M60-UCD1, we have detected the effects of such a black hole at its centre. This is a very exciting result and we want to know how many more UCDs may harbour such extremely massive objects."

    The supermassive black hole at the centre of M60-UCD1 makes up a huge 15 percent of the galaxy’s total mass, and weighs five times that of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. "That is pretty amazing, given that the Milky Way is 500 times larger and more than 1000 times heavier than M60-UCD1," explains Anil Seth of the University of Utah, USA, lead author of the international study. "In fact, even though the black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy has the mass of 4 million Suns it is still less than 0.01 percent of the Milky Way’s total mass, which makes you realise how significant M60-UCD1’s black hole really is."

    The team discovered the supermassive black hole by observing M60-UCD1 with both the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini North 8-metre optical and infrared telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, USA. The sharp Hubble images provided information about the galaxy’s diameter and stellar density, whilst Gemini was used to measure the movement of stars in the galaxy as they were affected by the black hole’s gravitational pull. These data were then used to calculate the mass of the unseen black hole.

    The finding implies that there may be a substantial population of previously unnoticed black holes. In fact, the astronomers predict there may be as many as double the known number of black holes in the local Universe.

    Additionally, the results could affect theories of how such UCDs form. One explanation is that M60-UCD1 was once a large galaxy containing 10 billion stars, and a supermassive black hole to match. "This galaxy may have passed too close to the centre of its much larger neighbouring galaxy, Messier 60," explains co author Remco van den Bosch of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. "In that process the outer part of the galaxy would have been torn away to become part of Messier 60, leaving behind only the small and compact galaxy we see today."

    The team believes that M60-UDC1 may one day merge with Messier 60 to form a single galaxy. Messier 60 also has its own monster black hole an amazing 4.5 billion times the size of our Sun and more than 1000 times bigger than the black hole in our Milky Way. A merger between the two galaxies would also cause the black holes to merge, creating an even more monstrous black hole.

    Image credit: NASA, ESA, D. Coe, G. Bacon (STScI)

    Reblogged from: distant-traveller
  2. superlinguo:

    COLING 2014 is the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics kicking off in Dublintomorrow. I will be there in spirit, as a co-author on a paper that looks at the use of the Aikuma mobile app for language documentation. I’ve talked about this work on the blog briefly before, but we now have a poster and a full article about the app and our fieldtests in PNG (which is where the photos above come from), the Amazon and Nepal (that last bit is mine).

    If you’re at COLING stop by the poster at the session, otherwise you can visit the conference proceeding page and download a PDF of the article.

    Reblogged from: superlinguo
  3. beatonna:

Anyone interested in words and turns of phrase will enjoy this book-
South Shore Phrase Book: A New, Revised and Expanded Nova Scotia Dictionary
First published in the 1980s, it has a lot of gems in it.  Along the south shore of Nova Scotia, you’ll find a lot of New England-y holdovers and the like, or German words around Lunenburg, or etc.  
I do know (as to the selection above) that when there was no booze around, people drank vanilla flavour bottles from the grocery, which was easier to get.  Also, old ladies drank (some still do, according to a friend) vanilla so as not to appear buying something so crude as liquor.  Old ladies!  Beer ain’t so bad.

    beatonna:

    Anyone interested in words and turns of phrase will enjoy this book-

    South Shore Phrase Book: A New, Revised and Expanded Nova Scotia Dictionary

    First published in the 1980s, it has a lot of gems in it.  Along the south shore of Nova Scotia, you’ll find a lot of New England-y holdovers and the like, or German words around Lunenburg, or etc.  

    I do know (as to the selection above) that when there was no booze around, people drank vanilla flavour bottles from the grocery, which was easier to get.  Also, old ladies drank (some still do, according to a friend) vanilla so as not to appear buying something so crude as liquor.  Old ladies!  Beer ain’t so bad.

    Reblogged from: beatonna
  4. Was mich überraschte, war, wie politische Ideologie funktioniert. Als wir das Budget durchrechneten, wurde klar: Ohne Steuererhöhungen geht es nicht. Dadurch wurden wir automatisch der Linken zugerechnet. Und die Rechten tobten. Dabei taten wir nur, was getan werden musste.
  5. thekidshouldseethis:

    PIXELS (2010), in which New York City is invaded by some old school 8-bit characters from an earlier generation of video games. Written and directed by Patrick Jean.

    In the archives: Wind Up Bots take over Buenos Aires and Real life Tetris: hailstones make cool patterns.

    via Polygon.

    Reblogged from: thekidshouldseethis
  6. -teesa-:

    3.6.14

    Aasif Mandvi interviews Fox Business commentator, Todd Wilemon.

    Reblogged from: reallyfoxnews
  7. new-aesthetic:

senseFly: Mapping the Matterhorn

Watch video:Drones create 3D model of Matterhorn mountain - YouTube

Via: Going Into Detail | edgeca.se
    Reblogged from: new-aesthetic
  8. According to a New Study, Nothing Can Change an Anti-Vaxxer’s Mind

    helvetebrann:

    Ready to be depressed?

    Go…

    While some false beliefs, such as astrology, are fairly harmless, parents who believe falsely that vaccination is dangerous or unnecessary for children present a real public health hazard. That’s why researchers, publishing in Pediatrics, decided to test…

  9. howthebodyworks:

We’re pleased to announce that ShareLaTeX is now open source, and you can grab the code on Github! ShareLaTeX is a web-based real-time collaborative LaTeX editor, and you can now run your own local version where you can host, edit, share and compile your LaTeX documents. We’re still 100% focused on running the hosted version at http://www.sharelatex.com, but we want to be more flexible in how you can use ShareLaTeX, and give something back to our wonderful community. (via ShareLaTeX is now open-source! - ShareLaTeX Blog)

    howthebodyworks:

    We’re pleased to announce that ShareLaTeX is now open source, and you can grab the code on Github! ShareLaTeX is a web-based real-time collaborative LaTeX editor, and you can now run your own local version where you can host, edit, share and compile your LaTeX documents. We’re still 100% focused on running the hosted version at http://www.sharelatex.com, but we want to be more flexible in how you can use ShareLaTeX, and give something back to our wonderful community. (via ShareLaTeX is now open-source! - ShareLaTeX Blog)

    Reblogged from: howthebodyworks
  10. petervidani:

    sexyandthethief:

    my friend told me to watch this cooking video while listening to sad music. so i mixed a little something for you all

    Well this just ruined my life.

    Reblogged from: petervidani
  11. new-aesthetic:

Twitter / skomputer: “just for context, here is an average of 535 members of congress”

    new-aesthetic:

    Twitter / skomputer: “just for context, here is an average of 535 members of congress”

    Reblogged from: new-aesthetic
  12. It used to be that political satire was easy. All one had to do was find the absurd buried beneath the surface of a given story and employ satire to highlight that absurdity. To shine a light on it. Now? Now you have headlines showing up in mainstream publications like “Kansas Republican Actually Opposes the Poor Buying More Food” and “Conservatives Less Likely to Buy Energy Efficient Bulbs if Labeled as Environmentally Friendly.” The absurdity of conservatives in this country has completely destroyed our business. Republicans have ruined us. Period. New readers to The Onion can’t tell anymore that we are a satirical publication. And established readers have been leaving our pages, finding greater absurdity at places like CNN and USA Today.

    The Onion is apparently over because reality is not indistinguishable from satire.

    Daily Kos: The Onion Calls it Quits

    (via howthebodyworks)
    Reblogged from: howthebodyworks
  13. One of the most troubling things about the AIDS epidemic is that it could have been stopped so easily by rolling out life-saving antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) early on. Not only do ARVs prevent HIV from developing into AIDS, they also reduce transmission rates and increase people’s willingness to get tested.

    But Western pharmaceutical corporations have colluded in pricing these essential drugs way out of reach of the poor. When they were first introduced, patented ARVs cost up to $15,000 per yearly regimen. Generic producers were able to manufacture the same drugs for a mere fraction of the price, but the WTO outlawed this through the 1995 TRIPS agreement to protect Big Pharma’s monopoly.

    It was not until 2003 that the WTO bowed to activist pressure and allowed southern Africa to import generics, but by then it was too late – HIV prevalence had already reached devastating proportions. In other words, much of the region’s AIDS burden can be directly attributed to the WTO’s rules and the corporations that defended them. And they are set to strike again: the WTO will cut patent exemptions for poor countries after 2016.

    This dearth of basic drugs has gone hand in hand with the general collapse of public health institutions. Structural adjustment and WTO trade policies have forced states to cut spending on hospitals and staff in order to repay odious debts to the West. Swaziland, ground-zero in the world of AIDS, has been hit hard by these cuts. When I last visited I found that many once-bustling clinics are now empty and dilapidated. Neoliberalism has systematically destroyed the first line of defence against AIDS.

    The point I want to drive home is that the policies that deny poor people access to life-saving drugs and destroy public healthcare come from the same institutions and interests that helped create the conditions for HIV transmission in the first place.

    Reblogged from: howthebodyworks
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