NASA’s RXTE reveals secrets of smallest known black hole

Black Hole
The black hole, which is smaller than any previously discovered, is a mere 16,000 to 65,000 light-years away. Officials said Friday that they have detected the “heartbeat” of the the black hole, noting that if it exists, it would weigh less than three times the mass of the sun, placing it near the theoretical minimum mass required for black holes. NASA officials say the size of the black hole makes it a contender for the title of smallest black hole ever discovered. Science classes at accredited online colleges should also be able to teach you how the first blackholes were born.

The NASA team used the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite to identify a candidate for the smallest-known black hole, saying the latest calculations may place the black hole’s mass below the minimum necessary to sustain a cosmic giant.

“We think that most of these patterns represent cycles of accumulation and ejection in an unstable disk, and we now see seven of them in IGR J17091,” said Tomaso Belloni at Brera Observatory in Merate, Italy. “Identifying these signatures in a second black hole system is very exciting.”

The space agency said the record-sized black hole is named IGR J17091-3624 after the astronomical coordinates of its sky position.


NASA announces 1st private spacecraft flight to ISS

US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced the launch date for the first test flight of a commercial spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission, which will test a vehicle intended to carry cargo and eventually crew to orbit
represents an important step for the burgeoning private space industry, experts say.

SpaceX is going to send its unmanned space capsule Dragon to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) on February 7 next year.

This will be the first time that NASA would use a commercial flight to ferry supplies up to the ISS.

Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, has been approved by NASA to make its first commercial supply run to the ISS. SpaceX has been working on its Dragon "reusable flying aircraft" to get it ready for its first big supply run.

"SpaceX is excited to be the first commercial company in history to berth with the International Space Station," the company's president Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement.

"This mission will mark a historic milestone in the future of spaceflight. We appreciate NASA's continued support and their partnership in this process."

This flight, which is the second for the company under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, will send the Dragon capsule into orbit to rendezvous with the orbiting complex in a single flight, NASA officials said.

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NASA’s Kepler telescope continues to reveal strange and new planets

NASA will reportedly announce the discovery of a number of newly discovered planets on Monday, the latest batch of mysterious worlds to be added to the space agency’s growing list of celestial bodies.

NASA will reveal the latest batch of discoveries made by its planet-hunting Kepler space telescope on Monday, according to a statement released by the space agency. NASA says it will hold a press conference at its Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The press conference is the first of the inaugural Kepler Science Conference, which will focus on findings made by the Kepler telescope. The conference will run from December 5 to December 9 and will feature more than 110 scientific presentations, officials said.

“The briefing will provide an update on the statistical findings since Kepler’s Feb. 1, 2011, science data release and introduce a new confirmed planetary discovery,” NASA officials said in a statement released Friday The space agency says the this year’s annual announcement will continue a long tradition that it anticipated to accelerate in the coming years as the Kepler Telescope continues to search for earth-like planets. NASA officials say they expect a number of significant discoveries by Kepler this year.

“Sooner or later, Kepler will find a lukewarm planet with a size making it probably Earthlike,” said Geoffrey Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley. “We’re no more than a year away” from such a discovery, he said The announcement comes as NASA announced Friday the discovery of an earth-sized planet that is reportedly hot enough to melt iron.