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February 3, 2014 - Searching for the Supermassive

Searching for the Supermassive Black holes with the mass of several million Suns are thought to lie at the core of most large galaxies. These supermassive black holes may form when modest-size black holes swallow up enormous amounts of nearby matter over the course of millions of years, or they may result from the merger of a cluster of many smaller black holes. Although a black hole itself is not visible, the presence of one can be inferred by the motion of matter being drawn toward it, or by the high energy (usually in the form of X-rays) released by matter spiraling into it. Spiral galaxy NGC 3627, about 30 million light-years away, is thought to harbor a supermassive black hole in its core. This image includes X-ray data (blue and white), infrared data (red), and optical data (yellow).

Image credit: X-Ray: NASA / CXC / Ohio State Univ / C. Grier et al; Optical: NASA / STScI, ESO / WFI; Infrared: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Weekly Calendar

February 3-9, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 3

Uranus 3° south of Moon

1966: Luna 9 lands on Moon
1984: STS-41B Challenger launched
STS-60 Discovery launched
1995: STS-63 Discovery launched
: Astronauts aboard the ISS launch SuitSat satellite

Moon phase Tuesday 4

1906: Clyde Tombaugh born

Moon phase Wednesday 5

1965: First test of Apollo Service Propulsion System engine
1967: Lunar Orbiter III launched
1971: Apollo 14 lands on Moon
1974: Mariner 10 uses gravity of Venus to adjust trajectory toward Mercury

Moon phase Thursday 6

First Qtr Moon 2:22 PM ET
Mercury appears stationary

1971: Alan Shepard hits first golf balls on Moon

Moon phase Friday 7

1984: Bruce McCandless makes first untethered spacewalk during STS-41B
1999: Stardust comet probe launched
2001: STS-98 Atlantis launched
2008: STS-122 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Saturday 8

1828: Jules Verne born
1974: 84-day Skylab 4 mission ends, last crew to occupy Skylab
2010: STS-130 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Sunday 9

1971: Apollo 14 returns from Moon; last post-mission quarantine


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