Connect with us

Tech

New look at first black hole detected shows it is bigger than expected

Published

on

New look at first black hole detected shows it is bigger than expected

WASHINGTON – A fresh examination has revealed new details about the first black hole ever detected – which was spotted in 1964 and became the subject of a friendly wager between renowned scientists – including that it is bigger than previously known.

Researchers said on Thursday that new observations of the Cygnus X-1 black hole, orbiting in a stellar marriage with a large and luminous star, showed it is 21 times our sun’s mass, about 50 percent more massive than previously believed.

While it is still one of the closest-known black holes, they found it is somewhat farther away than previously calculated, at 7,200 light years – the distance light travels in a year, 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km) – from Earth.

Black holes are extremely dense, with gravitational pulls so ferocious not even light escapes. Some – the “supermassive” black holes – are immense, like the one at our Milky Way galaxy’s center 4 million times the sun’s mass. Smaller “stellar-mass” black holes possess the mass of a single star.

Cygnus X-1 is the Milky Way’s largest-known stellar-mass black hole and among the strongest X-ray sources seen from Earth, said astronomer James Miller-Jones of Curtin University and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Australia, who led the study published in the journal Science.

This black hole spins so rapidly, nearly light speed, that it approaches the maximum rate envisioned under physicist Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, Miller-Jones added.

It devours material blowing from the surface of the companion star it tightly orbits, a “blue supergiant” about 40 times our sun’s mass. It started its existence 4 million to 5 million years ago as a star up to 75 times the sun’s mass and collapsed into a black hole a few tens of thousands of years ago.

The research included data from the Very Long Baseline Array radio telescope comprising 10 US observation stations.

After Cygnus X-1 was first tabbed as a black hole, a wager was made between physicists Stephen Hawking, who bet against it being one and Kip Thorne, who bet it was. Hawking eventually conceded, owing Thorne a Penthouse magazine subscription.

“Indeed, I did not have any wagers riding on these findings,” Miller-Jones said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Twitter to let users charge followers to see premium posts

Published

on

By

Twitter to let users charge followers to see premium posts

Twitter is branching out from advertising to find more ways to make money — both for itself and for its most prolific users, whether those are businesses, celebrities or regular people.

In an investor presentation Thursday, the social media company announced a new feature called “Super Follows,” which will let users charge for extra, exclusive material not shown to their regular followers. This can include subscriber-only newsletters, videos, deals and discounts. Users would pay a monthly subscription fee to access the extra content.

Twitter users — and the company’s investors — have long been asking it to launch a subscription-based model. This as a growing number of internet creators and influencers use tools like Patreon, Substack and OnlyFans to make money from their online popularity.

The subscriptions will also allow Twitter to tap into a broader range of revenue sources in a world where online advertising is dominated by a Facebook-Google duopoly. Twitter did not detail what percentage of the revenue it would share with celebrities and others who sign up paying subscribers.

“Exploring audience funding opportunities like Super Follows will allow creators and publishers to be directly supported by their audience and will incentivize them to continue creating content that their audience loves,” the company said in a statement.

Super Follows is not available yet but Twitter says it will have “more to share” in the coming months. Another coming product, “Revue,” will let people publish paid or free newsletters to their audience. There’s also “Twitter Spaces,” a Clubhouse competitor that lets users participate in audio chats. It is currently in private beta testing, which means it’s not yet available to the general Twitter audience.

The San Francisco-based company also said its revenue goal for 2023 is more than $7.5 billion, more than double its 2020 revenue of $3.7 billion.

Continue Reading

Tech

Twitter shares hit record high as it forecasts doubling revenue

Published

on

By

Twitter shares hit record high as it forecasts doubling revenue

Twitter said Thursday it expects to double annual revenue to at least $7.5 billion and reach 315 million users in 2023, sending its shares up more than 8 percent.

In an announcement ahead of its investor presentation Thursday, Twitter said it will increase the number of features it launches to increase revenue and users.

The social media network has struggled to add features as quickly as larger rivals like Facebook and smaller viral apps like ByteDance’s TikTok. But in recent months, it has made a push to launch new products, including an audio-chat feature similar to viral app Clubhouse.

Twitter said in a filing it expects to reach at least 315 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU), or users who see ads, by the fourth quarter of 2023.

Internationally, Twitter faces challenges in India, a rapidly growing market for social media use. The country plans to require social media companies to erase certain content and coordinate with law enforcement.

Twitter had previously refused to delete content connected to the farmers’ protests in India.

Continue Reading

Tech

Facebook exec withdraws from race for LA Times top editor post

Published

on

By

Facebook exec withdraws from race for LA Times top editor post

Anne Kornblut, a former Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winner who now works for Facebook, is the latest candidate to pull out of the race for top job at the Los Angeles Times, Media Ink has learned.

Kornblut withdrew her name from the running following a Feb. 19 report in the Wall Street Journal that LA Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is exploring a potential sale, sources said.

Soon-Shiong, who acquired the LA Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and a handful of weeklies for $500 million in 2018, has denied the report. But as The Post reported last week, it appears to be complicating the LA paper’s search effort with another candidate — Janice Min, a former executive at The Hollywood Reporter and Us Weekly — also withdrawing from the race.

Kornblut is currently head of curation for Facebook News, where she started as a director. Despite continued conflicts over the Mark Zuckerberg-owned social media network’s freewheeling approach to paying for news, her digital background was considered a big asset by the LA Times search committee, sources said.

Kornblut also has an impressive newspaper career, including stints at the New York Daily News, the Boston Globe and the New York Times. In 2007 she moved to the Washington Post, where she worked as a deputy assistant managing editor and oversaw teams that won two Pulitzer Prizes, including in 2014 for coverage of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks and in 2015 for reporting on security lapses within the US Secret Service.

She could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the LA Times said only that a search for a new editor continues.

The Journal report said Soon-Shong is exploring several exit strategies as his newspaper losses mount, including an outright sale, bringing in an investor and selling the San Diego paper.

Soon-Shiong, who rarely communicates with the press, tweeted Friday that the WSJ report was not true and that he was “committed to @latimes.”

Chris Argenti, president and COO of the parent company California Times, also splashed cold water on the report. “Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his family continue to invest in and plan for the future of the California Times which includes the LA Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune and do not plan to sell,” he said in a memo to the staff Friday. “It’s unfortunate that the Journal chose to publish the story and we’re sorry for any concern it may have caused.”

Also on the list, as The Post has reported, is ESPN’s Kevin Merida, editor-in-chief of The Undefeated sports blog. He did not return a call seeking comment.

The top job at the LA paper opened up in October when Norm Pearlstine said he would be stepping down as executive editor. He left the post mid-December.

In addition to financial losses, Soon-Shiong has been dealing with newsroom backlash over diversity issues, including allegations of pay disparities.

Continue Reading

Trending