Black Hole in NGC 1365 Spins at Nearly Light-Speed »

Sergio Prostak, writing at Sci-News:

Astronomers want to know the black hole’s spin for several reasons. The first is physical – only two numbers define a black hole: mass and spin. By learning those two numbers, you learn everything there is to know about the black hole. Most importantly, the black hole’s spin gives clues to its past and by extension the evolution of its host galaxy.

“The black hole’s spin is a memory, a record, of the past history of the galaxy as a whole.”

According to the team, the supermassive black hole in NGC 1365 spins so fast that its surface is traveling at nearly the speed of light.


Curiosity B-sides »

While on the topic of space, here’s Clara Moskowitz at talking about the Mars Rover’s current memory problem:

“The hardware that we fly is radiation tolerant,” Cook told, “but there’s a limit to how hardened it can be. You can still get high-energy particles that can cause the memory to be corrupted. It certainly is a possibility and that’s what we’re looking into.”

Once Curiosity is up and running again, the rover should have no problem using its B-side computer as its primary computer for a while, officials said. As standard protocol, Curiosity, like many spacecraft, has redundant main computer systems as a safety precaution for just this type of anomaly.

“While we are resuming operations on the B-side, we are also working to determine the best way to restore the A-side as a viable backup,” said JPL engineer Magdy Bareh, leader of the mission’s anomaly resolution team, said in a statement.

Gives new meaning to “B-side”.