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View Full Version : Are We Made of Quasarstuff Too?



Fraser
2007-Oct-09, 06:38 PM
Carl Sagan noted that we're all made of starstuff; the elements fused together in stars and detonating supernovae. But maybe we're made of something else too, outflowing dust from actively feeding supermassive black holes - known as quasars - that populated the early Universe. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/10/09/are-we-made-of-quasarstuff-too/)

bunter
2007-Oct-10, 04:27 AM
outflowing dust from actively feeding supermassive black holes

Huh??

I was under the impression NOTHING can escape from a black holes gravity?

and now we have dust "outflowing" from SMBH, thats surprising, and the dust make up is somewhat similar to comet "dust".


For example, the mineral commonly known as olivine is well known from meteorites, but olivine is actually a mixed iron-magnesium silicate; the pure magnesium version of the silicate is called forsterite and the pure iron silicate is called fayalite. XANES plots of the olivine in some of the Wild 2 samples could be matched with olivines of various iron-to-magnesium ratios.

and from the story above;


The data were captured by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph, an instrument that splits apart light from the quasar into a spectrum that reveals telltale signs of different minerals. Each type of mineral, or dust grain, has a unique signature, as can be seen in the graph, or spectrum, above.

The strongest features are from the mineral amorphous olivine, or glass (purple); the mineral forsterite found in sand (blue); and the mineral corundum found in rubies (light blue). The detection of forsterite and corundum is highly unusual in galaxies without quasars. Therefore, their presence is a key clue that these grains might have been created in the quasar winds and not by dying stars as they are in our Milky Way galaxy. Forsterite is destroyed quickly in normal galaxies by radiation, so it must be continually produced to be detected by Spitzer.

Surprising !

Van Rijn
2007-Oct-10, 08:40 AM
Huh??

I was under the impression NOTHING can escape from a black holes gravity?

and now we have dust "outflowing" from SMBH, thats surprising, and the dust make up is somewhat similar to comet "dust".


A quasar has an SMBH at the center, but there is plenty of matter around it. We see the activity around the SMBH, after all. We don't see the SMBH itself.

Also, it isn't quite true that nothing can escape from the event horizon of a black hole. There is Hawking
radiation, though that doesn't matter much except for small BHs.

By the way, you might want to check out this thread:

http://www.bautforum.com/astronomy/64730-what-dickens-quasar.html#post1070304

John Mendenhall
2007-Oct-10, 12:19 PM
A quasar has an SMBH at the center, but there is plenty of matter around it. We see the activity around the SMBH, after all. We don't see the SMBH itself.

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The news item appears to have been hastily written. It's vague about most of what is probably going on. Fraser may want to clarify what is outflowing from where, and when, and why, and how. If there are any whos in the outflowing material, we wish them Godspeed.