A few years ago Japan launched a revolutionary black-hole-monitoring satellite but right after the successful launch, the control center lost contact, under unknown conditions.
Data shows Hitomi’s last observation. It has some very interesting suggestions for what we currently know about the role of black holes in the formation of a galaxy.
Hitomi’s last observations were of the Perseus Cluster, a giant galaxy cluster about 240 million light years away from having a super-massive black hole at its center. Nearby black holes play a vital role in the ultimate size of a galaxy.
Obviously, the discovery highlights how little we know about the role of black holes in the formation of a galaxy. It also gives us a tempting look at how much promise the satellite held before it went off line.
The loss is even bigger because Hitomi noticed what scientists hoped would be an end of a long-standing struggle to finally stick an x-ray microcalorimeter (a device used to take extremely precise measurements of the energy in x-rays—into space).
Before Hitomi, there were two other efforts to send a microcalorimeter into space—and both ended in unusual accidents. In 2000, a rocket mission that would have been the first one to send a microcalorimeter into space exploded upon launch.
In 2005, a microcalorimeter really made it into space but was wrecked by a coolant leak. It wasn’t until 2016 with Hitomi that a microcalorimeter was successfully launched long enough to take readings—only to be lost along with the whole satellite shortly after.
Supermassive black holes at the center of galaxy clusters could heat intergalactic gas, preventing it from cooling and forming stars.
Reality Beyond Matter.com / AA Magnum Flash Point News 2018.