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NASA to Unveil Black Hole Discovery Wednesday

Artist Impression Black Hole in NGC4526
An artist's impression of a black hole like the one weighed in this work, sitting in the core of a disk galaxy. The black-hole in NGC4526 weighs 450,000,000 times more than our own Sun. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA will reveal new findings about black holes during a news conference Wednesday (Feb. 27).

The news conference, which starts at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) Wednesday, will relay results based primarily on observations made by two X-ray space telescopes: NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton observatory, NASA officials said.

The scientists participating in the briefing are:

  • Fiona Harrison, NuSTAR principal investigator at Caltech in Pasadena
  • Guido Risaliti, astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.
  • Arvind Parmar, head of Astrophysics and Fundamental Physics Missions Division, European Space Agency

NASA will stream audio of the teleconference, along with participants' visual aids, live at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2. SPACE.com will carry the NASA feed here.

The $165 million NuSTAR observatory launched in June 2012, kicking off a planned two-year mission to study the universe in high-energy X-ray light. The telescope's observations should help scientists better understand galaxy formation, black hole growth and other phenomena, mission team members have said.

XMM-Newton is a grizzled space veteran by comparison. The telescope launched in December 1999 and has been probing X-ray emissions around the universe ever since.

This story was provided by SPACE.com, a sister site to Live Science.  Follow SPACE.com senior writer Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall or SPACE.com @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+.

Mike Wall
Michael was a science writer for the Idaho National Laboratory and has been an intern at Wired.com, The Salinas Californian newspaper, and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He has also worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.