Meet MS0735.6+7421: a galaxy cluster located at a distance of 2.6 billion light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Camelopardalis. Like all clusters, MS0735.6+7421 (we’ll call it MS0735 for short) is a loose collection of galaxies that are held together by the force of gravity.
Nothing lasts forever, not even black holes. According to Stephen Hawking, black holes will evaporate over vast periods of time. But how, exactly, does this happen?
The actor Stephen Hawking is best known for his cameo appearances in Futurama and Star Trek, you might surprised to learn that he’s also a theoretical astrophysicist. Is there anything that guy can’t do?
One of the most fascinating theories he came up with is that black holes, the universe’s swiffer, can actually evaporate over vast periods of time.
Quantum theory suggests there are virtual particles popping in and out of existence all the time. When this happens, a particle and its antiparticle appear, and then they recombine and disappear again.
When this takes place near an event horizon, strange things can happen. Instead of the two particles existing for a moment and then annihilating each other, one particle can fall into the black hole, and the other particle can fly off into space. Over vast periods of time, the theory says that this trickle of escaping particles causes the black hole to evaporate.
Astronomers have shown for the first time how star formation in “dead” galaxies sputtered out billions of years ago. ESO’s Very Large Telescope and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have revealed that three billion years after the Big Bang, these galaxies still made stars on their outskirts, but no longer in their interiors. The quenching of star formation seems to have started in the cores of the galaxies and then spread to the outer parts. The results will be published in the 17 April 2015 issue of the journal Science.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has revealed an extremely powerful magnetic field, beyond anything previously detected in the core of a galaxy, very close to the event horizon of a supermassive black hole