Polarized X-rays reveal shape, orientation of extremely hot matter around black hole

Researchers’ recent observations of a stellar-mass black hole called Cygnus X-1 reveal new details about the configuration of extremely hot matter in the region immediately surrounding the black hole. Matter is heated to millions of degrees as it is pulled toward a black hole. This hot matter glows in X-rays. Researchers are using measurements of the polarization of these X-rays to test and refine models that describe how black holes swallow matter, becoming some of the most luminous sources of light — including X-rays — in the universe.

Sanford Burnham Prebys professor Karen Ocorr awarded $2 million from NASA to study flies in space

As part of their larger initiative to understand the effects of space conditions on different organisms, NASA has awarded $2 million to Sanford Burnham Prebys assistant professor Karen Ocorr. The grant will fund a three-year project to study the effects of low gravity on muscle and neuron function in fruit flies and nematode worms aboard the International Space Station.

Science Snapshots from Berkeley Lab

An experiment to study gravity at the quantum scale, insights into an antibiotic-building enzyme, and the backstory of an incredible new protein prediction algorithm are featured in this month’s roundup of science highlights.

Galaxy Simulations Could Help Reveal Origins of Milky Way

Rutgers astronomers have produced the most advanced galaxy simulations of their kind, which could help reveal the origins of the Milky Way and dozens of small neighboring dwarf galaxies. Their research also could aid the decades-old search for dark matter, which fills an estimated 27 percent of the universe. And the computer simulations of “ultra-faint” dwarf galaxies could help shed light on how the first stars formed in the universe.

Rutgers’ Greg Moore Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Rutgers Professor Gregory W. Moore, a renowned physicist who seeks a unified understanding of the basic forces and fundamental particles in the universe, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Moore, Board of Governors Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, joins 119 other new academy members and 26 international members this year who were recognized for their distinguished and ongoing achievements in original research.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Flame Experiments on International Space Station

New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 19, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Engineering Professor Stephen D. Tse can comment on flame experiments this month on the International Space Station. The NASA project on symmetrical flames, called s-Flame, is aimed at studying combustion,…