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And in other news....

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Re: And in other news....

Postby Western » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:30 pm

Space images: The best of 2020

There was stunning cosmic imagery to feast on in 2020, from Hubble's 30th birthday image to footage of a daring sample grab on an asteroid. Here's our pick of the year's offerings.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-55057865
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Re: And in other news....

Postby Western » Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:04 pm

Rare black fox spotted in Somerset is back home after escape bid

A rare black fox has been returned to a wildlife park after escaping and bringing traffic to a standstill.

It has emerged the animal, who was seen walking near Brean in Somerset on Monday, had escaped from the Animal Farm Adventure Park.

Known as Wilf, he also once escaped from a previous home in Manchester, before being found in the city's Trafford Centre.

His new owners have said they will be building higher fences in future.

Black foxes are a type of North American red fox with a trait that makes their fur silvery-black.

According to campaign group Black Foxes UK, they make up less than 0.1% of the fox population here.

After creating plenty of publicity when he was spotted near Brean on 28 December, Wilf was found on a local farm and returned to the pen he shares with a fellow fox called Kit.

'Loves an adventure'
Wilf came to Animal Farm Adventure Park eight months ago after being transferred from a previous home in Manchester, where he developed a taste for freedom.

Keeper Krystal Finch said: "He escaped into the Trafford Centre in Manchester and was found in a women's clothing store.

"He also escaped and was found cuddled up in a garden with somebody's dog.

"So he does love an adventure and we were pre-warned that whatever you do, he will find a way."

It is currently breeding season for foxes, which is one possible explanation for Wilf staging his own great escape.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-55478078
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Re: And in other news....

Postby Western » Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:02 pm

Supermassive black hole missing: Scientists left confused

Scientists have been left scratching their heads, as it appears a supermassive black hole at the centre of a far off galaxy seems to be missing.

Despite searching with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have no evidence that a distant black hole estimated to weigh up to 100 billion times the mass of the Sun is anywhere to be found.

The galaxy cluster Abell 2261 is located about 2.7 billion light years from Earth.

A light-year is the distance light travels in one earth year (it's a long way - about 9 trillion km/6 trillion miles). So when astronomers look at this black hole they're actually seeing how it appeared far in the past.

So don't worry - this black hole is pretty far away!

The missing black hole should be in the centre of the enormous galaxy, as every large galaxy in the Universe should have one. So why not this one?

Astronomers have been searching the centre of the Abell galaxy for some time using data collected in 1999 and 2004, but to this date have failed to find the elusive black hole.

But with new observations from NASA's Chandra Observatory recorded in 2018, a team from the University of Michigan in the USA have considered an alternative explanation - that the black hole was ejected from the centre of its galaxy.

This event may have resulted from the merging of two galaxies. If two black holes merge to create on big one, the other can be sent off into the opposite direction - what is known as a recoiling black hole - and could therefore be mysteriously floating off in space.

The latest study found there were no X-ray emissions from the centre of the galaxy nor in anywhere else to indicate the black hole's location.

Whilst it is known that smaller black holes can merge, there is no evidence to date which suggests supermassive black holes have, so if that is the case then that would be a huge breakthrough in astronomy.

Although the search was unsuccessful, hope remains for astronomers looking for this supermassive black hole in the future. When it is finally launched later this year, the James Webb Space Telescope may be able to reveal the presence of a supermassive black hole in the centre of the galaxy or one of the clumps of stars.

The mystery of this gigantic black hole's location therefore continues.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/55562870
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