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EFFORT WAS ON FOR DECADES
Astronomers have spotted orbiting Black Holes

Using a massive telescope network, scientists have data in hand that could open new frontiers in our understanding of gravity.

ASTRONOMERS have finally spotted two orbiting black holes, which scientists have been trying to find for many years.
Early last year, scientists at the LIGO observatory detected gravitational waves for the first time ever. These waves—ripples in the fabric of spacetime—were formed by a pair of black holes that had been orbiting each other until colliding. At least, the LIGO scientists are pretty sure that’s what happened.
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool. Two large observatories were built in the United States with the aim of detecting gravitational waves by laser interferometry. These can detect a change in the 4 km mirror spacing of less than a ten-thousandth the charge diameter of a proton, equivalent to measuring the distance to Proxima Centauri with an accuracy smaller than the width of a human hair.
The initial LIGO observatories were funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and were conceived, built, and are operated by Caltech and MIT.
Nobody has ever observed a pair of orbiting black holes before. Not only did LIGO make the first ever detection of gravitational waves, those waves came from something no one had ever actually seen.A group of researchers have managed to spot a pair of orbiting black holes and measure just how fast they’re moving. Having finally found a black hole pair, the group can conclude their decades-long black hole search.

BILLIONS OF TIMES MORE MASSIVE THAN THE SUN
“For a long time, we’ve been looking into space to try and find a pair of these supermassive black holes orbiting as a result of two galaxies merging,” said study author Greg Taylor in a press release. “Even though we’ve theorized that this should be happening, nobody had ever seen it until now.”
 

An image of the two supermassive black holes spotted by the researchers, C1 and C2. These black holes orbit each other once every 24,000 years.

The black holes in question are so-called “supermassive black holes,” billions of times more massive than our sun. Supermassive black holes are often found at the centres of large galaxies like ours, and likely contain remnants of a galactic collision millions or billions of years ago.
“What we’ve been able to do is a true technical achievement over this 12-year period using the VLBA to achieve sufficient resolution and precision in the astrometry to actually see the orbit happening,” said Taylor. “It’s a bit of triumph in technology to have been able to do this.”

ORBIT TIME 24,000 YEARS
Even though these black holes are gigantic, they are orbiting so far away from each other that a full revolution takes around 24,000 years. Their orbit time is so long that even though the team has been observing these black holes for over a decade, they have yet to see them move. It took 12 years of measurements at the Very Long Baseline Array—a series of radio telescopes across the US—in order to find these black holes and measure how fast they were orbiting.
The discovery could help scientists understand more about supermassive black holes and colliding galaxies, as well as the development of galaxies as a whole.
 

Professor Greg Taylor

“Supermassive black holes have a lot of influence on the stars around them and the growth and evolution of the galaxy,” said Taylor. “So, understanding more about them and what happens when they merge with one another could be important for our understanding for the universe.”

WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?
A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
Because no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.

HOW BIG ARE BLACK HOLES?
Black holes can be big or small. Scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain. Mass is the amount of matter, or “stuff,” in an object.
Another kind of black hole is called “stellar.” Its mass can be up to 20 times more than the mass of the sun. There may be many, many stellar mass black holes in Earth’s galaxy. Earth’s galaxy is called the Milky Way.
The largest black holes are called “supermassive.” These black holes have masses that are more than 1 million suns together. Scientists have found proof that every large galaxy contains a supermassive black hole at its center. The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy is called Sagittarius A. It has a mass equal to about 4 million suns and would fit inside a very large ball that could hold a few million Earths.

HOW DO BLACK HOLES FORM?
Scientists think the smallest black holes formed when the universe began.
Stellar black holes are made when the center of a very big star falls in upon itself, or collapses. When this happens, it causes a supernova. A supernova is an exploding star that blasts part of the star into space.
Scientists think supermassive black holes were made at the same time as the galaxy they are in.

IF BLACK HOLES ARE “BLACK,” HOW DO SCIENTISTS KNOW THEY ARE THERE?
A black hole can not be seen because strong gravity pulls all of the light into the middle of the black hole. But scientists can see how the strong gravity affects the stars and gas around the black hole. Scientists can study stars to find out if they are flying around, or orbiting, a black hole.
When a black hole and a star are close together, high-energy light is made. This kind of light can not be seen with human eyes. Scientists use satellites and telescopes in space to see the high-energy light.

COULD A BLACK HOLE DESTROY EARTH?
Black holes do not go around in space eating stars, moons and planets. Earth will not fall into a black hole because no black hole is close enough to the solar system for Earth to do that.
Even if a black hole the same mass as the sun were to take the place of the sun, Earth still would not fall in. The black hole would have the same gravity as the sun. Earth and the other planets would orbit the black hole as they orbit the sun now.
The sun will never turn into a black hole. The sun is not a big enough star to make a black hole.

HOW IS NASA STUDYING BLACK HOLES?
NASA is using satellites and telescopes that are traveling in space to learn more about black holes. These spacecraft help scientists answer questions about the universe.
— NASA and Internet

Comment

Using a massive telescope network, scientists have data in hand that could open new frontiers in our understanding of gravity.

ASTRONOMERS have finally spotted two orbiting black holes, which scientists have been trying to find for many years.
Early last year, scientists at the LIGO observatory detected gravitational waves for the first time ever. These waves—ripples in the fabric of spacetime—were formed by a pair of black holes that had been orbiting each other until colliding. At least, the LIGO scientists are pretty sure that’s what happened.
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool. Two large observatories were built in the United States with the aim of detecting gravitational waves by laser interferometry. These can detect a change in the 4 km mirror spacing of less than a ten-thousandth the charge diameter of a proton, equivalent to measuring the distance to Proxima Centauri with an accuracy smaller than the width of a human hair.
The initial LIGO observatories were funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and were conceived, built, and are operated by Caltech and MIT.
Nobody has ever observed a pair of orbiting black holes before. Not only did LIGO make the first ever detection of gravitational waves, those waves came from something no one had ever actually seen.A group of researchers have managed to spot a pair of orbiting black holes and measure just how fast they’re moving. Having finally found a black hole pair, the group can conclude their decades-long black hole search.

BILLIONS OF TIMES MORE MASSIVE THAN THE SUN
“For a long time, we’ve been looking into space to try and find a pair of these supermassive black holes orbiting as a result of two galaxies merging,” said study author Greg Taylor in a press release. “Even though we’ve theorized that this should be happening, nobody had ever seen it until now.”
 

An image of the two supermassive black holes spotted by the researchers, C1 and C2. These black holes orbit each other once every 24,000 years.

The black holes in question are so-called “supermassive black holes,” billions of times more massive than our sun. Supermassive black holes are often found at the centres of large galaxies like ours, and likely contain remnants of a galactic collision millions or billions of years ago.
“What we’ve been able to do is a true technical achievement over this 12-year period using the VLBA to achieve sufficient resolution and precision in the astrometry to actually see the orbit happening,” said Taylor. “It’s a bit of triumph in technology to have been able to do this.”

ORBIT TIME 24,000 YEARS
Even though these black holes are gigantic, they are orbiting so far away from each other that a full revolution takes around 24,000 years. Their orbit time is so long that even though the team has been observing these black holes for over a decade, they have yet to see them move. It took 12 years of measurements at the Very Long Baseline Array—a series of radio telescopes across the US—in order to find these black holes and measure how fast they were orbiting.
The discovery could help scientists understand more about supermassive black holes and colliding galaxies, as well as the development of galaxies as a whole.
 

Professor Greg Taylor

“Supermassive black holes have a lot of influence on the stars around them and the growth and evolution of the galaxy,” said Taylor. “So, understanding more about them and what happens when they merge with one another could be important for our understanding for the universe.”

WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?
A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
Because no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.

HOW BIG ARE BLACK HOLES?
Black holes can be big or small. Scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain. Mass is the amount of matter, or “stuff,” in an object.
Another kind of black hole is called “stellar.” Its mass can be up to 20 times more than the mass of the sun. There may be many, many stellar mass black holes in Earth’s galaxy. Earth’s galaxy is called the Milky Way.
The largest black holes are called “supermassive.” These black holes have masses that are more than 1 million suns together. Scientists have found proof that every large galaxy contains a supermassive black hole at its center. The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy is called Sagittarius A. It has a mass equal to about 4 million suns and would fit inside a very large ball that could hold a few million Earths.

HOW DO BLACK HOLES FORM?
Scientists think the smallest black holes formed when the universe began.
Stellar black holes are made when the center of a very big star falls in upon itself, or collapses. When this happens, it causes a supernova. A supernova is an exploding star that blasts part of the star into space.
Scientists think supermassive black holes were made at the same time as the galaxy they are in.

IF BLACK HOLES ARE “BLACK,” HOW DO SCIENTISTS KNOW THEY ARE THERE?
A black hole can not be seen because strong gravity pulls all of the light into the middle of the black hole. But scientists can see how the strong gravity affects the stars and gas around the black hole. Scientists can study stars to find out if they are flying around, or orbiting, a black hole.
When a black hole and a star are close together, high-energy light is made. This kind of light can not be seen with human eyes. Scientists use satellites and telescopes in space to see the high-energy light.

COULD A BLACK HOLE DESTROY EARTH?
Black holes do not go around in space eating stars, moons and planets. Earth will not fall into a black hole because no black hole is close enough to the solar system for Earth to do that.
Even if a black hole the same mass as the sun were to take the place of the sun, Earth still would not fall in. The black hole would have the same gravity as the sun. Earth and the other planets would orbit the black hole as they orbit the sun now.
The sun will never turn into a black hole. The sun is not a big enough star to make a black hole.

HOW IS NASA STUDYING BLACK HOLES?
NASA is using satellites and telescopes that are traveling in space to learn more about black holes. These spacecraft help scientists answer questions about the universe.
— NASA and Internet


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IBM’s deep learning technology

IBM and NVIDIA recently announced collaboration on a new deep learning tool optimised for the latest technologies to help train computers to think and learn in more human-like ways at a faster pace.
The new IBM Power System S822LC for High Performance Computing servers feature a new IBM POWER8 chip designed for demanding workloads including artificial intelligence, deep learning and advanced analytics.
Deep learning is a fast growing machine learning method that extracts information by crunching through millions of pieces of data to detect and rank the most important aspects from the data. Publicly supported among leading consumer web and mobile application companies, deep learning is quickly being adopted by more traditional business enterprises.
Deep learning and other artificial intelligence capabilities are being used across a wide range of industry sectors; in banking to advance fraud detection through facial recognition; in automotive for self-driving automobiles and in retail for fully automated call centers with computers that can better understand speech and answer questions.

Software toolkit
The hardware-software solution provides more than 2X performance over comparable servers with 4 GPUs running AlexNet with Caffe. The same 4-GPU Power-based configuration running Alexnet with BVLC Caffe can also outperform 8 M40 GPU-based x86 configurations, making it the world’s fastest commercially available enterprise systems platform on two versions of a key deep learning framework.
Caffe is a widely-used deep learning framework developed by Berkeley Vision and Learning Center (BVLC) and is recognized within the technology industry as one of the most popular deep learning community applications. Caffe is one of five deep learning software frameworks available in the IBM PowerAI toolkit. The toolkit leverages NVIDIA GPUDL libraries including cuDNN, cuBLAS and NCCL as part of NVIDIA SDKs to deliver multi-GPU acceleration on IBM servers.
IBM PowerAI is designed to run on IBM’s highest performing server in its OpenPOWER LC lineup, the IBM Power S822LC for High Performance Computing (HPC), which features NVIDIA NVLink technology optimized for the Power architecture and NVIDIA’s latest GPU technology. The new solution supports emerging computing methods of artificial intelligence, particularly deep learning. IBM PowerAI also provides a continued path for Watson, IBM’s cognitive solutions platform, to extend its artificial intelligence expertise in the enterprise by using several deep learning methods to train Watson.
“PowerAI democratizes deep learning and other advanced analytic technologies by giving enterprise data scientists and research scientists alike an easy to deploy platform to rapidly advance their journey on AI,” said Ken King, General Manager, OpenPOWER. “Coupled with our high performance computing servers built for AI, IBM provides what we believe is the best platform for enterprises building AI-based software, whether it’s chatbots for customer engagement, or real-time analysis of social media data.”
— Internet

Comment

IBM and NVIDIA recently announced collaboration on a new deep learning tool optimised for the latest technologies to help train computers to think and learn in more human-like ways at a faster pace.
The new IBM Power System S822LC for High Performance Computing servers feature a new IBM POWER8 chip designed for demanding workloads including artificial intelligence, deep learning and advanced analytics.
Deep learning is a fast growing machine learning method that extracts information by crunching through millions of pieces of data to detect and rank the most important aspects from the data. Publicly supported among leading consumer web and mobile application companies, deep learning is quickly being adopted by more traditional business enterprises.
Deep learning and other artificial intelligence capabilities are being used across a wide range of industry sectors; in banking to advance fraud detection through facial recognition; in automotive for self-driving automobiles and in retail for fully automated call centers with computers that can better understand speech and answer questions.

Software toolkit
The hardware-software solution provides more than 2X performance over comparable servers with 4 GPUs running AlexNet with Caffe. The same 4-GPU Power-based configuration running Alexnet with BVLC Caffe can also outperform 8 M40 GPU-based x86 configurations, making it the world’s fastest commercially available enterprise systems platform on two versions of a key deep learning framework.
Caffe is a widely-used deep learning framework developed by Berkeley Vision and Learning Center (BVLC) and is recognized within the technology industry as one of the most popular deep learning community applications. Caffe is one of five deep learning software frameworks available in the IBM PowerAI toolkit. The toolkit leverages NVIDIA GPUDL libraries including cuDNN, cuBLAS and NCCL as part of NVIDIA SDKs to deliver multi-GPU acceleration on IBM servers.
IBM PowerAI is designed to run on IBM’s highest performing server in its OpenPOWER LC lineup, the IBM Power S822LC for High Performance Computing (HPC), which features NVIDIA NVLink technology optimized for the Power architecture and NVIDIA’s latest GPU technology. The new solution supports emerging computing methods of artificial intelligence, particularly deep learning. IBM PowerAI also provides a continued path for Watson, IBM’s cognitive solutions platform, to extend its artificial intelligence expertise in the enterprise by using several deep learning methods to train Watson.
“PowerAI democratizes deep learning and other advanced analytic technologies by giving enterprise data scientists and research scientists alike an easy to deploy platform to rapidly advance their journey on AI,” said Ken King, General Manager, OpenPOWER. “Coupled with our high performance computing servers built for AI, IBM provides what we believe is the best platform for enterprises building AI-based software, whether it’s chatbots for customer engagement, or real-time analysis of social media data.”
— Internet


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