PureInsight | May 10, 2016
[PureInsight.org] In recent years, astronomers have realized that some celestial bodies have mysteriously disappeared without leaving a trace.
According to a report from the astronomy website Skyandtelescope, astronomers have noticed that after 13 years of observations, the celestial body SDSS J1011+5442 has disappeared and the reason is impossible to determine.
What has especially shocked astronomers is that other quasars, including the bright SDSS J0159+0033, the dim Mrk 590, Mrk 1018 and the NGC 7603, have also disappeared. No signals can be detected from the expanses they originally occupied in space. Instead, in their places are spectral images of ordinary galaxies.
The report used SDSS J1011+5442 as an example. This quasar was discovered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) in 2002. The SDSS was a redshift observation research project conducted by the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, USA, using a 2.5-meter diameter telescope. It revealed signals that supermassive black holes emit, when engulfing other substances.
Afterwards, astronomers used SDSS as well as other equipment, such as the Wide Area Infrared Survey Satellite (WISE), the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research Center (LINEAR) telescope, the Catalina Sky Survey, etc. to observe SDSS J1011+5442. Scientists found that the quasar’s brightness continuously dimmed over the period of a few years. In 2015, astronomers at Pennsylvania State University found that SDSS J1011+5442 was no longer giving off signals from its location in space. In other words, SDSS J1011+5442 had disappeared. Ordinary galaxies have replaced it.
Astronomers have always understood quasars as being manifestations of black holes, especially those such as SDSS J1011+5442, whose signals indicate that they are supermassive black holes 5000 times the mass of the sun. Upon attempting to determine the reasons for their disappearance, scientists have found it difficult to accept an explanation that supermassive black holes would transition quickly from being “active” to “static”.
They have suggested that the disappearance of the quasar’s signal may be attributed to dust clouds in space blocking the signal. However, these supermassive black holes or quasars cannot easily be covered completely by small dust clouds. Jessie Runnoe of Pennsylvania State University explains that using the size of the absorbing plate of black holes, these quasars would require 800 years before they stopped signaling; they should not just disappear before our eyes in the short period of 10 years. Furthermore, many similar quasars (or black holes) have also disappeared.
Astronomers are currently continuing to observe the space where these celestial bodies once were, in hopes of finding an acceptable explanation.
Translated from: http://news.zhengjian.org/node/30932