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spin0
2008-May-08, 05:54 PM
NASA MEDIA ADVISORY May 7, 2008: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/may/HQ_M08089_Chandra_Advisory.html


NASA to Announce Success of Long Galactic Hunt

WASHINGTON -- NASA has scheduled a media teleconference Wednesday, May 14, at 1 p.m. EDT, to announce the discovery of an object in our Galaxy astronomers have been hunting for more than 50 years. This finding was made by combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with ground-based observations.

Ooh, ooh... What is it? What is it?

An object? An extremely dense kind of object maybe? With a mass of millions of Suns, perhaps?
I'm oozing with curiosity about this!

bmpbmp
2008-May-08, 07:56 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/may/HQ_M08089_Chandra_Advisory.html

01101001
2008-May-08, 08:10 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/may/HQ_M08089_Chandra_Advisory.html

For those who like a taste of what lies at the other end of a link:


WASHINGTON -- NASA has scheduled a media teleconference Wednesday, May 14, at 1 p.m. EDT, to announce the discovery of an object in our Galaxy astronomers have been hunting for more than 50 years. This finding was made by combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with ground-based observations.

spin0
2008-May-08, 08:17 PM
A supermassive black hole? Sgr A*?


This makes me very curious indeed!

A.DIM
2008-May-08, 08:20 PM
No doubt.

Anyone know what kind of object astronomers have been looking for for 50yrs?

It couldn't be planet X since they've been looking for it for almost 100yrs!

Or could it?

:think:

01101001
2008-May-08, 08:22 PM
A supermassive black hole? Sgr A*?

Maybe a visual observation? They've seen the X-rays for some time.

Hints:
1) Object hunted for more than [thanks, AndreasJ below] 50 years.
2) In our galaxy.
3) Combined X-ray (Chandra) and ground-based observations.

What did they start looking for in before 1958?

AndreasJ
2008-May-08, 09:00 PM
It does say more than 50 years.

spin0
2008-May-08, 09:02 PM
What did they start looking for in 1958?

According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole#Theories_based_on_Einstein.27s_general_ relativity) in 1958 David Finkelstein described event horizon mathematically using Eddington-Finkelstein coordinates. His work turned black holes from speculation into possibility.

spin0
2008-May-08, 09:40 PM
Heh, in 1950 Enrico Fermi asked "where are they"?

:whistle:

01101001
2008-May-08, 09:43 PM
It does say more than 50 years.

[Thanks. I'll alter my list of hints above.]

50 years of spaceflight-enabled hunting?

Pure speculation: this older 2005 article about almost nailing the Milky Way's supermassive black hole might suggest a final bit of news has done it: National Geographic: Supermassive Black Hole at Center of Milky Way, Study Hints (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/11/1102_051102_black_hole_2.html) (page 2):


Known as the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), the array can view radio waves in the finest detail of any telescope on Earth. Refined observation techniques allowed the team to view radio waves emitted just beyond the edge of Sgr A*.

Further refinements and new instruments may allow astronomers to eventually capture an image of a distinctive shadow around the black hole.

The shadow is caused by radiation from sources that cross the so-called event horizon—the point of no return surrounding a black hole.

"That would really put the nail in the coffin," Lo said.

Or has it been so nailed before this?

Edit: Later. Eh... I'm less fond of that idea now. The press release heads-up comes from NASA and Chandra at Harvard (and Marshall Spaceflight Center where that's managed). That makes it sound like a NASA finding, from Chandra data -- recently combined with existing ground-based observation.

parejkoj
2008-May-08, 10:19 PM
I dunno what it is, but I'd like to find out!

Maybe an positive ID of an isolated neutron star?

Bozola
2008-May-08, 10:35 PM
A galaxy that has no Starbuck's Coffee outlets?

spin0
2008-May-08, 10:42 PM
50 years of spaceflight-enabled hunting?
In 1958 David Finkelstein described event horizon mathematically using Eddington-Finkelstein coordinates. This brought black holes from the realm of speculation into a possibility and into a theory.


Or has it been so nailed before this?
AFAIK not yet, I think observations of Sgr A* have been more or less indirect so far. Sgr A* is fainter than expected in X-ray and Chandra needs to have a long exposure time to image it. Chandra took a 164-hour exposure of the area few years ago. Maybe this time they have imaged it with an ultra-long exposure time?

This is pure speculation of course, but all in all this sounds like the news could be a black hole. And Sgr A* being a probable candidate, because AFAIK other classes of BHs have already been found in Milky Way (stellar & intermediate).

But but... it could as well be something completely different.

spin0
2008-May-08, 10:50 PM
bmpbmp already opened a thread about this subject.

Moderator merge, please?

ToSeek
2008-May-09, 12:08 AM
bmpbmp already opened a thread about this subject.

Moderator merge, please?

Your wish is my command....

parejkoj
2008-May-09, 02:53 AM
AFAIK not yet, I think observations of Sgr A* have been more or less indirect so far. Sgr A* is fainter than expected in X-ray and Chandra needs to have a long exposure time to image it.

Nope: SgrA* has been imaged in X-rays on several occasions (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003ApJ...591..891B) with Chandra previously (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002ApJ...566L..77L). It was also observed in both X-rays and IR simultaneously (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004A%26A...427....1E), and the flares were correlated. Though SgrA* is not as bright as we initially expected, it has definitely been seen at numerous wavelengths.



This is pure speculation of course, but all in all this sounds like the news could be a black hole. And Sgr A* being a probable candidate, because AFAIK other classes of BHs have already been found in Milky Way (stellar & intermediate).

I think I'll retract my isolated neutron star guess, because of the >50 years comment in the press release. But I'm not convinced it is SgrA*: the case for that being a black hole is iron clad at this point, spanning many wavelengths. Intermediate black holes are a lot more hard to find, so that'd be my new prediction. There have been a number of observations (http://www.bautforum.com/1223139-post8.html) that have hinted at the existence of an event horizon in various objects, but none have been definitive. So the ">50 years" + 1958 Finkelstein event horizon paper make me definitely lean towards a new observation of an event horizon in some black hole.

parejkoj
2008-May-09, 03:16 AM
One way to "cheat" would be to look at previous Chandra proposals (http://cxc.harvard.edu/target_lists/index.html) that might be relevant. Cycles 8 and 9 were the most recent observations...

Jerry
2008-May-09, 05:51 AM
A press release announcement this far in advance is unusual.

I don't have a clue, but more possibilities, include:

Population III stars.

First earth-sized extrasolar planet (I don't know what Chandra would have to do with that)

A black oblisk

Kaptain K
2008-May-09, 05:55 AM
Maybe the progenitor remnant of the supernova that created the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula is known to be the result of a supernova 5-10 thousand years ago, but no neutron star or black hole has ever been found.

01101001
2008-May-09, 06:22 AM
A press release announcement this far in advance is unusual.

Or it's the typical circa-7-day lead time for an alert for a media teleconference announcement:

04.17.06 - Black Holes Found to be "Green"
Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory will hold a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT Monday, April 24

04.11.06 - Black Hole Merger Breakthrough
NASA will hold a media teleconference 1 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 18

03.29.06 - NASA Announces Spitzer Planet Finder Update
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope will hold a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, April 5

Dec. 10, 2007 MEDIA ADVISORY : M07-178 NASA Announces Discovery of Assault by a Black Hole WASHINGTON - Astronomers will hold a media teleconference Monday, Dec. 17

parejkoj
2008-May-09, 01:26 PM
Kaptain K: that's a good one. If not the Veil, there are some other supernova remnants where the progenitor hasn't been found.

01101001
2008-May-09, 10:07 PM
Chandra Cycle 8 Proposals (http://cxc.harvard.edu/target_lists/cycle8/abstracts_cycle8.html)

Number: 08500060


[...] we intend to verify the evidence for an expanding [Crab Nebula] remnant shell that has been marginally detected in the existing calibration observations.

Wikipedia: Crab Nebula (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_Nebula):


The predominant theory to account for the missing mass of the Crab is that a substantial proportion of the mass of the progenitor was carried away before the supernova explosion in a fast stellar wind. However, this would have created a shell around the nebula. Although attempts have been made at several different wavelengths to observe a shell, none has yet been found.

Has the hunt been going on for 5 decades? I'd be surprised.

Maksutov
2008-May-09, 11:26 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/may/HQ_M08089_Chandra_Advisory.html
__________________
Don't Hate Me Cause I Am Dum

Hey, old buddy! Long time no see!

BTW, given your sig line, you should avoid a bunch of posts over on OTB.

Meanwhile, welcome back! :)

bmpbmp
2008-May-10, 02:38 AM
whats otb

Maksutov
2008-May-10, 02:47 AM
This. (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/)

frankuitaalst
2008-May-10, 05:28 AM
Can it be a brown dwarf ? ( sol's companion ?) . Chandra is operating in the X-ray spectrum and can detect such bodies.
Nemesis found ? :lol:

neilzero
2008-May-10, 10:32 PM
An Earth mass black hole less than a light year from Earth? Neil

VanderL
2008-May-10, 10:52 PM
A press release announcement this far in advance is unusual.

I don't have a clue, but more possibilities, include:

Population III stars.

First earth-sized extrasolar planet (I don't know what Chandra would have to do with that)

A black oblisk

Posted this in another thread, but Pop II star(s) came to my mind too, but I'm not sure it needs Chandra's X-ray data.

Cheers.

spin0
2008-May-10, 11:47 PM
Posted this in another thread, but Pop II star(s) came to my mind too, but I'm not sure it needs Chandra's X-ray data.

Cheers.
But could it be possible to find Population III stars within our galaxy?

I've always thought they are ancient objects and very distant as such.

Justy
2008-May-11, 12:51 AM
The Jupiter 2?

spin0
2008-May-11, 08:55 AM
The Jupiter 2?

We have found gas giants in our galaxy already. This discovery sounds like something new.

Tuckerfan
2008-May-11, 11:12 AM
We have found gas giants in our galaxy already. This discovery sounds like something new.

Consider yourself whooshed. (http://www.promisedplanet.com/Jupiter2000/Beginning.htm)

http://www.promisedplanet.com/Jupiter2000/images/1-01(0009)d.jpg

Justy
2008-May-11, 11:50 AM
Consider yourself whooshed. (http://www.promisedplanet.com/Jupiter2000/Beginning.htm)

http://www.promisedplanet.com/Jupiter2000/images/1-01(0009)d.jpg

Bingo! :dance:

spin0
2008-May-11, 12:01 PM
Consider yourself whooshed. (http://www.promisedplanet.com/Jupiter2000/Beginning.htm)
LOL. I do. Cheers!

VanderL
2008-May-11, 08:13 PM
But could it be possible to find Population III stars within our galaxy?

I've always thought they are ancient objects and very distant as such.

They are supposed to be, but there is also the idea that some Pop III "remnants" can be found in our galaxy, see this review (http://csaweb.yonsei.ac.kr/~sjyoon/JuniorSeminar/S_and_T/Stars_FirstStar_C2/014%5Bbromm%5Ddark_ages_first_stars.pdf). There are already reports of very low metallicity Pop II stars, although none have the characteristics thought to match real Pop II stars. Let's wait for the press release.

Cheers.

01101001
2008-May-12, 12:30 AM
Ooh, ooh... What is it? What is it?

In live chat Sunday May 11, the Bad Astonomer commented on this alert. I listened without my full attention. So my specific memories are likely to be off.

His take was that it's certain to be cool news, for those interested in space and astronomy science, but that it's almost certain not to be revolutionary news, earth-shaking news.

They do these kind of news alerts all the time and it's never the sort of thing that the more excitable members of our species (like the ones who are predicting an announcment of an approaching alien invasion, or Planet X, or... you know the type) imagine/fear/fantasize it will be. It will just be yet another typical revelation of a discovery that happens in ordinary scientific progress. Happens all the time.

He commented that he needs to contact the NASA public relations people and offer advice to change their ways, perhaps to like the Hubble PR people who announce upcoming news maybe just 2 days in advance. As it is, NASA PR's practice of offering veiled hints, to entice interest, but to avoid tipping off the actual news, done a whole week in advance, just gives too many people a chance to get worked up over nothing and is probably counterproductive to good science and good outreach.

Tuckerfan
2008-May-12, 12:39 AM
Aww, I wanna be doomed!!!!! :(

Maksutov
2008-May-12, 01:13 AM
Aww, I wanna be doomed!!!!! :(And so you shall be. We all reach the end of our production run eventually, some sooner than others, sort of like a certain car.

Maksutov
2008-May-12, 01:16 AM
In live chat Sunday May 11, the Bad Astonomer commented on this alert....Your recollection of what the BA said is very close to what I remember. Good job!

He's right, if you start a lot of speculation that something you're going to reveal is "earthshaking" (as in the result of a 50+ year hunt), you had better deliver, or else there will be a backlash.

Tuckerfan
2008-May-12, 03:24 AM
And so you shall be. We all reach the end of our production run eventually, some sooner than others, sort of like a certain car.
Yes, but I want there to be an Earth shattering kaboom to be involved! I want panic in the streets, cats and dogs living togther! Real wrath of God type stuff. :D

Maksutov
2008-May-12, 04:24 AM
Yes, but I want there to be an Earth shattering kaboom to be involved! I want panic in the streets, cats and dogs living togther! Real wrath of God type stuff. :DGuess you wouldn't be much of a T. S. Eliot fan then:
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.Personally my guess is NASA has found a Boojum.

Nicolas
2008-May-12, 07:03 AM
And so you shall be. We all reach the end of our production run eventually, some sooner than others, sort of like a certain car.


Yes, but I want there to be an Earth shattering kaboom to be involved! I want panic in the streets, cats and dogs living togther! Real wrath of God type stuff. :D

That would have to be a Pinto then... ;)

weatherc
2008-May-12, 01:04 PM
Yes, but I want there to be an Earth shattering kaboom to be involved! I want panic in the streets, cats and dogs living togther! Real wrath of God type stuff. :DSO BE GOOD for goodness' sake! Whoa-a-a-oh, somebody's comin'! :D

DyerWolf
2008-May-12, 02:18 PM
...NASA has found a Boojum

Clearly we're all doomed!

spin0
2008-May-12, 02:21 PM
Clearly we're all doomed!

And ominously the news will be released day after tomorrow.

Just a coincidence? Well I don't think so!

We're doomed.

spin0
2008-May-12, 03:02 PM
They are supposed to be, but there is also the idea that some Pop III "remnants" can be found in our galaxy, see this review (http://csaweb.yonsei.ac.kr/~sjyoon/JuniorSeminar/S_and_T/Stars_FirstStar_C2/014%5Bbromm%5Ddark_ages_first_stars.pdf). There are already reports of very low metallicity Pop II stars, although none have the characteristics thought to match real Pop II stars. Let's wait for the press release.

Cheers.
Good article. Thanks!

spin0
2008-May-12, 03:27 PM
In live chat Sunday May 11, the Bad Astonomer commented on this alert. I listened without my full attention. So my specific memories are likely to be off.

His take was that it's certain to be cool news, for those interested in space and astronomy science, but that it's almost certain not to be revolutionary news, earth-shaking news.

They do these kind of news alerts all the time and it's never the sort of thing that the more excitable members of our species (like the ones who are predicting an announcment of an approaching alien invasion, or Planet X, or... you know the type) imagine/fear/fantasize it will be. It will just be yet another typical revelation of a discovery that happens in ordinary scientific progress. Happens all the time.

He commented that he needs to contact the NASA public relations people and offer advice to change their ways, perhaps to like the Hubble PR people who announce upcoming news maybe just 2 days in advance. As it is, NASA PR's practice of offering veiled hints, to entice interest, but to avoid tipping off the actual news, done a whole week in advance, just gives too many people a chance to get worked up over nothing and is probably counterproductive to good science and good outreach.

Good points. Building hype is a two edged sword.

On one hand NASA needs a certain amount of hype in it's media relations. I wrote on another forum:

NASA has to reach the media and catch media's interest somehow. Otherwise their discoveries and achievements would go unnoticed, which is not acceptable for a publicly funded organization IMO. In this single case NASA's media person had to use 2-3 sentences to make media interested enough to join next week's teleconference and possibly report on that.

We have to remember that the media advisory I posted here is meant for the members of the media, not general public per se. It's a sort of an invitation to the media and I guess they get many similar advisories within a single week even from NASA. So to make this one stand out NASA's representative chose to use big words. Are they just hype or is there something significant behind this we'll know next week. But the will-be news do sound interesting! :)

And on the other hand hyped and veiled messages may build wild, unscientific and counterproductive speculation. I don't think there's an absolute way to avoid it - but I agree that limiting the advance to 2-3 days could be a very good idea.

01101001
2008-May-13, 05:20 AM
BA Blog: No, NASA hasnít found aliens (http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/05/12/no-nasa-hasnt-found-aliens/)


[...]
Without doubt this is some very interesting astronomical discovery, but not something that will wipe out life, or change our view of humanity in the Universe forever. It just wouldnít be released this way. Bear in mind that the press pre-release mentions the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which is essentially blind to incoming asteroids, and wouldnít be the right instrument to use to see them. Obviously, whatever this discovery is it involves X-rays, and those only come from a handful of sources. But theyíre very interesting objects astronomically, so whatever this thing is Iím sure it will still be really cool. Just not aliens-invading cool.
[...]

Maksutov
2008-May-13, 06:47 AM
That would have to be a Pinto then... ;)Which makes it Top Secret (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Glcj0szvevU)!

Good to see you, Nicolas! I have a question concerning digital transcription of 78.26 RPM records that you will probably have answers for. But I'll post it over on OTB.

Tuckerfan
2008-May-13, 09:33 AM
That would have to be a Pinto then... ;)

One of the ironies of history is that the original design for the Pinto included airbags and puncture resistant fuel tanks. They were dropped because Ford didn't want to spend the extra money. I don't know what the airbags would have cost, but for the fuel tanks, it would have added an extra $47 or so to the final price. In the trial it came out that Ford calculated that if they had to pay out for the extra deaths caused by not installing the improved fuel tanks, the costs would still be lower than adding the better fuel tanks. People think the formula Edward Norton gives in Fight Club was just something made up for the film. It's not. (I also couldn't help that the cars he inspected were all lightly disguised Lincolns [Lincoln is owned by Ford].) :eek:

01101001
2008-May-14, 02:30 PM
NASA MEDIA ADVISORY May 7, 2008: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/may/HQ_M08089_Chandra_Advisory.html


WASHINGTON -- NASA has scheduled a media teleconference Wednesday, May 14, at 1 p.m. EDT, to announce the discovery of an object in our Galaxy astronomers have been hunting for more than 50 years.

Watch NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html)

Press conference starts:
Wednesday, May 14, 1000 PDT
Wednesday, May 14, 1300 EDT
Wednesday, May 14, 1700 UTC

Two and a half hours left to speculate.

spin0
2008-May-14, 05:03 PM
SPOILER:




Found this in NASA-TV Media Channel programming list:



ITEM 1 - DISCOVERY OF MOST RECENT SUPERNOVA IN OUR GALAXY - CXC (NEW)

The most recent supernova in our Galaxy, known as G1.9+0.3, has been discovered by tracking the rapid expansion of its remains.
This result, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and NRAO's Very Large Array (VLA), has implications for understanding how
often supernovas explode in the Milky Way galaxy.

ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/tv-advisory/nasa-tv.txt


I wonder why it hasn't been discovered visually earlier.

01101001
2008-May-14, 05:03 PM
Press conference underway in a minute

Sorry it's not NASA TV.

It's audio news: NASA News Audio Live Streaming (http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/newsaudio/index.html)

NASA Chandra Mission (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/main/index.html)

01101001
2008-May-14, 05:04 PM
I wonder why it hasn't been discovered visually earlier.

Wasn't it, in March? Or did I slip in Googling? Old news I think. Or is it? It's new at the Chandra Harvard page (http://chandra.harvard.edu/):


Discovery of Most Recent Supernova in Our Galaxy
The expanding remains of a supernova explosion in the Milky Way are shown in this composite image of the supernova remnant G1.9+0.3.
[more] (14 May 08)

(Edit: Yep. that's the news. Yawn.)

arXiv: Abstract (http://arxiv.org/abs/0803.1487) (submitted March 10, 2008)


The Youngest Galactic Supernova Remnant: G1.9+0.3
Authors: S.P. Reynolds, K.J. Borkowski, D.A. Green, U. Hwang, I. Harrus, R. Petre

01101001
2008-May-14, 05:20 PM
NASA Chandra Mission (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/main/index.html)

Feature: Chandra Uncovers Youngest Supernova in Our Galaxy (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/news/08-062.html)

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/226979main_g19_226x170.jpg (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/news/08-062.html)


Chandra Uncovers Youngest Supernova in Our Galaxy

The most recent supernova in our galaxy has been discovered by tracking the rapid expansion of its remains. This result, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array, will help improve our understanding of how often supernovae explode in the Milky Way galaxy.

The supernova explosion occurred about 140 years ago, making it the most recent in the Milky Way. Previously, the last known supernova in our galaxy occurred around 1680, an estimate based on the expansion of its remnant, Cassiopeia A.

cogswell_cogs
2008-May-14, 05:39 PM
That is cool.

They fooled me once with the hype over water evidence on mars. Now I know that anything they schedule a week in advance isnt likely to be earthshaking.

Now, if they say, "NASA has scheduled an emergency press conference, in coordiation with the white house, starting right the **** now!!!!".. Then Ill perk up.

01101001
2008-May-14, 05:47 PM
Worst part:

The caller who asked about the moon crickets. And who then followed up with a question about the Shooski (spelling a total guess) supernova.

That is, that was the worst until the final uberdoofus who barged in and won the crown by trying to ask a question about female anatomy.

NASA needs a new approach, somewhat less trusting, to accepting questions.

At that end, the end beyond the end, NASA facilitator hung up and a couple of the scientists remained on, presumably not knowing their short convo ("Well, I think that went pretty well -- except for the weirdos... Anyone else still on?") was going out over the Internet.

Then the volume went way down, but was still semi-understandable, as they, or some people, kept on conversing. I felt like an eavesdropper and quit after I figured out they weren't saying anything really hot to the world.

01101001
2008-May-14, 07:42 PM
BA Blog: Youngest galactic supernova (not aliens) found (http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/05/14/youngest-galactic-supernova-not-aliens-found/)


Anyway, seriously, this is a big deal. Why?
[...]
So there you go. This object will be heavily studied now, Iím sure, because itís the youngest such explosion we can see up close. It may help us understand how white dwarfs explode, and what the environment is like near the center of the galaxy, and how gas behaves when it violently expands in such a place.

And, well, itís just cool. Itís been a mystery for a long time why we havenít seen any young remnants ó we expect there to be 60 of them younger than 2000 years, but only 10 are known ó and now that weíve seen this one we know theyíre out there, but really just a pain to detect. You can bet that astronomers will look even harder for more of them now that we know they exist.