Daily Archives: December 18, 2008

Accretion in the Vicinity of a Super-Massive Black Hole

Most astronomers agree today that at the core of the most energetic galaxies that we see, are super massive black holes (SMBH). And by super-massive we mean masses between millions and billions of times the mass of our Sun. Today, astronomers at UNLV released their 3D simulations of the energy flows in the vicinity of a super massive black hole. Take a look at their simulation animations online at And if your up to learning more about how these simulations are produced, check out their pre-print paper online at

Japan’s Super-Kamiokande Closes In on Supernovae Secrets

Deep underground in an abandoned mine in Japan is the site of the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector. For decades now, it has been known that neutrinos are produced in the cores of all stars, in the fusion process. Scientists are also aware of the fact that an enormous number of neutrinos are produced in supernovae explosions. Although the occurrence of Type II supernovae explosions in our galaxy is estimated at 3 per century, over the eons, this should have produced a diffuse neutrino background across our sky. Released in a pre-print today, scientists from Super-Kamiokande believe that they are approaching the sensitivity needed to detect this background neutrino foam. Read more about the Super-Kamiokande and its attempt to detect the diffuse supernova neutrino background at

Where Did All the Water Go, Long Time Passing on Venus

In a press release today, ESA, the European Space Agency, announced the findings of a study done with the Venus Express spacecraft. The press release is online at It has long been suspected that Venus once had an abundance of water similar to its abundance on Earth. But what happened to all that water? There have been theories about the disappearance of the water, and now Venus Express along with its magnetometer appears to have demonstrated that one of these theories is most likely. Apparently, waves within the Solar Wind can develop whose frequency allows for the sweeping up of charged particles from the exosphere (highest portion of planet’s atmosphere), much like a magnetic broom, including those protons, which are the nucleus of hydrogen atoms. For more information about this process see the team’s scientific results published earlier this year in Geophysical Research Letters, available online at

December 2008
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