Daniel Powell

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NASA’S Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole

WASHINGTON — Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood. The 30-year-old black hole provides a unique opportunity to watch this type of object develop from infancy.

The black hole could help scientists better understand how massive stars explode, which ones leave behind black holes or neutron stars, and the number of black holes in our galaxy and others.

The 30-year-old object is a remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light years from Earth. Data from Chandra, NASA’s Swift satellite, the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton and the German ROSAT observatory revealed a bright source of X-rays that has remained steady during observation from 1995 to 2007. This suggests the object is a black hole being fed either by material falling into it from the supernova or a binary companion.

“If our interpretation is correct, this is the nearest example where the birth of a black hole has been observed,” said Daniel Patnaude of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. who led the study.

The scientists think SN 1979C, first discovered by an amateur astronomer in 1979, formed when a star about 20 times more massive than the sun collapsed. Many new black holes in the distant universe previously have been detected in the form of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs).

However, SN 1979C is different because it is much closer and belongs to a class of supernovas unlikely to be associated with a GRB. Theory predicts most black holes in the universe should form when the core of a star collapses and a GRB is not produced.

“This may be the first time the common way of making a black hole has been observed,” said co-author Abraham Loeb, also of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “However, it is very difficult to detect this type of black hole birth because decades of X-ray observations are needed to make the case.”

The idea of a black hole with an observed age of only about 30 years is consistent with recent theoretical work. In 2005, a theory was presented that the bright optical light of this supernova was powered by a jet from a black hole that was unable to penetrate the hydrogen envelope of the star to form a GRB. The results seen in the observations of SN 1979C fit this theory very well.

Although the evidence points to a newly formed black hole in SN 1979C, another intriguing possibility is that a young, rapidly spinning neutron star with a powerful wind of high energy particles could be responsible for the X-ray emission. This would make the object in SN 1979C the youngest and brightest example of such a “pulsar wind nebula” and the youngest known neutron star. The Crab pulsar, the best-known example of a bright pulsar wind nebula, is about 950 years old.

“It’s very rewarding to see how the commitment of some of the most advanced telescopes in space, like Chandra, can help complete the story,” said Jon Morse, head of the Astrophysics Division at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

The results will appear in the New Astronomy journal in a paper by Patnaude, Loeb, and Christine Jones of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge.

For more information about Chandra, including images and other multimedia, visit:




Permanent link to this article: https://www.animatedscience.co.uk/2010/nasas-chandra-finds-youngest-nearby-black-hole

Structure of a Leaf KS4/5 Biology

Have some fun label the diagram….

Permanent link to this article: https://www.animatedscience.co.uk/2010/structure-of-a-leaf-ks45-biology

Screen Saver


you can download the Animated Science screen saver for your computer if you like the logo… just click here and extract from ZIP…. Animatedscience

it is based on my logo…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.animatedscience.co.uk/2010/screen-saver

Pork and Herb Sausage 90% Meat

This recipe is a modification of my Pork and Sage Basic recipe. I have included more spices and also an emulsifier called supaphos which keeps more moisture in when cooking and also helps bind everything together. This one was as I had a whole pig delivered and needed to make something of half of the trimmings about 16lbs

  • 6.8kg Old Spot Trimmings from whole pig. Minced on large only.
  • 6 Large Free Range eggs
  • 9 tea sp Milled Black Pepper (38g)
  • 8.4 tea sp Milled Sea Salt
  • 3 tea sp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1.7 tea sp Ground Mace
  • 3.5x Squirt Tomatoes Puree Concentrate
  • 3.4 table sp Maille Dijon Mustard
  •  550 gram Fresh White Breadcrumbs from Large white Tesco tin loaf (include crust)
  • 1000ml water (including 8 ice cubes)
  • 24 ice cubes for adding later.
  • 55 grams of Supaphos emulsifier

Mix the dry spices and split into three when mixed. Then add the wet ingredients in thirds and add the following

  • 6tsp Dried Sage
  • 6 tsp Dried Oregano + extra 1 squirt tom puree
  • 6 tsp Dried Marjoram + Paprika 1/2sp?

You can really swap for anything you want at this point but I went for simple.

Then add 8 ice cubes to each whilst mixing to keep cool

Then take a third of pork and mix with the spices then chill overnight. If any ice cubes have not melted then remove. Do for each third. Cover and label to ensure you don’t get confused.

Next day soak pig intestine skins, you will need about 3 feet for every lb you will do. Rinse in water and soak for 1 hour.

Load up the stuffer and put on about 10 feet of skins on the stuffer. Too much and they will go dry.

Feed through one mixture at a time. Make sure you leave a gap of a few cm at the end and start of every 1lb or 500g. This is so you can tie the ends and leaves space for adjustments.

Now to make the shapes, just check for air bubbles and uniformity. Adjust gently and twist to make the size desired. I made some hand width size and some half a hand. Cut at the 1lb size or 500g by eye.

When done with one batch return in bowl to fridge. Then clean out any trapped sinew from stuffer and repeat.

Arrange sausages into nice shapes, either curls or in “bunches” then freeze in bags. When starting to get hard take out and vacuum pack. This way any moisture or fluids will not ruin your seal. Label with date and type!

Pictures to follow!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.animatedscience.co.uk/2010/pork-and-herb-sausage-90-meat

The Hydrogen Bomb…Teller–Ulam

File:Teller-Ulam device 3D.svg

This is part of a great Wikipedia Article, read more here….

The Teller–Ulam design is the nuclear weapon design concept used in most of the world’s nuclear weapons.  It is colloquially referred to as “the secret of the hydrogen bomb” because it employs hydrogen fusion to generate neutrons. However, in most applications the bulk of its destructive energy comes from uranium fission, not hydrogen fusion. It is named for its two chief contributors, Edward Teller and Stanisław Ulam, who developed it in 1951 for the United States. It was first used in multi-megaton-range thermonuclear weapons. As it is also the most efficient design concept for small nuclear weapons, today virtually all the nuclear weapons deployed by the five major nuclear-armed nations use the Teller–Ulam design.

Its essential features, which officially remained secret for nearly three decades, are:

  1. separation of stages into a triggering “primary” explosive and a much more powerful “secondary” explosive.
  2. compression of the secondary by X-rays coming from nuclear fission in the primary, a process called the “radiation implosion” of the secondary.
  3. heating of the secondary, after cold compression, by a second fission explosion inside the secondary.

The radiation implosion mechanism is a heat engine exploiting the temperature difference between the hot radiation channel, surrounding the secondary, and the relatively cool interior of the secondary. This temperature difference is briefly maintained by a massive heat barrier called the “pusher”. The pusher is also an implosion tamper, increasing and prolonging the compression of the secondary, and, if made of uranium, which it usually is, it undergoes fission by capturing the neutrons produced by fusion. In most Teller–Ulam weapons, fission of the pusher dominates the explosion and produces radioactive fission product fallout.

The first test of this principle was the “Ivy Mikenuclear test in 1952, conducted by the United States. In the Soviet Union, the design was known as Andrei Sakharov‘s “Third Idea“, first tested in 1955. Similar devices were developed by the United Kingdom, China, and France, though no specific code names are known for their designs

Permanent link to this article: https://www.animatedscience.co.uk/2010/the-hydrogen-bomb-teller%e2%80%93ulam

Neutron Stars – from BBC…

Neutron star packs two Suns’ mass in London-sized space 

Artist's concept of a pulsar (SPL) Pulsars are so-called because of the way their radio emission is detected at Eart. Astronomers have discovered what they say is the mightiest neutron star yet. The super-dense object, which lies some 3,000 light-years from Earth, is about twice as massive as our Sun. That is 20% greater than the previous record holder, the US-Dutch team behind the observation tells the journal Nature.

Like all neutron stars, the object’s matter is packed into an incredibly small space probably no bigger than the centre of a big city like London. “The typical size of a neutron star is something like 10km in radius,” said Dr Paul Demorest from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Charlottesville, US. The size is easy to understand but the densitiy is much more extreme than anything we know here on Earth.

“It’s approximately the size of a city, which for an astronomical object is interesting because people can conceive of it pretty easily; and yet in that space it has the mass in this case about two times our Sun. So the size is easy to understand but the densitiy is much more extreme than anything we know here on Earth,” the study’s lead author told BBC News.

Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia (NRAO)The finding is important, says Dr Demorest’s team, because it puts constraints on the type of exotic material that can form a neutron star. Such objects are thought to be the remnant cores of once giant stars that blew themselves apart at the ends of their lives. Theory holds that all atomic material not dispersed in this supernova blast collapses to form a body made up almost entirely of neutrons – the tiny particles that appear in the nuclei of many atoms. As well being fantastically compact, the cores also spin incredibly fast. This particular object, classified as PSR J1614-2230, revolves 317 times a second. It is what is termed a pulsar – so-called because it sends out lighthouse-like beams of radio waves that are seen as radio “pulses” every time they sweep over the Earth.

  The observations were made using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. The pulses are akin to the ticks of a clock, and the properties of stable neutron stars make for ultra-precise time-pieces. This was how the team, observing with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, was able to measure the object’s mass. Because PSR J1614-2230 also circles a companion star, its pulses – as received at Earth – are disturbed by the neighbour’s gravity.

“The way it works is that as the pulses travel from the neutron star past the companion, they slow down a little bit. And how we see that on Earth is that the pulses arrive a little later than we would otherwise expect when the neutron star is lined up behind the companion,” Dr Demorest said.

The team could use this effect to calculate the masses of both bodies. The group reports a pulsar mass 1.97 times that of our Sun – significantly greater than the previous precise record of 1.67 solar masses. The result is said to put limits on the type of dense matter that can make up the cores of these bizarre objects. Some scientists had suggested exotic particles such as hyperons, kaon condensates or free quarks could exist deep inside neutron stars. But Dr Demorest and colleagues believe their observations preclude this possibility. “It’s simply that if those particles were formed, the star would get too dense and collapse into a black hole prior to this point,” the NRAO researcher said.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.animatedscience.co.uk/2010/neutron-stars-from-bbc


This is a pancetta / dry cure bacon which is really very good.

In this version I have split half an Old Spot Belly (skin removed). Each bag has a 630g slice which has two versions of the cure.


1)        Weight pork first 630g for each piece

2)       Ratio for dry cure mix is 30g/kg. So for this we need 18.9g. I round up to 20g.

3)       In this case I use three identical ceramic bowls of same mass and check and recheck my dry cure. You can buy it here https://www.sausagemaking.org/acatalog/Traditional_dry_cure_bacon_.html

4)       Then I take the following mix and add to my cure bowls, Dried Sage, Pinch salt, Pinch Brown Sugar, Large Pinch Pepper  or Several Crushed Juniper Berries.

5)       Make up a vaccum bag and make sure you do a double seal on one end.

6)       Add the cure to the bag, then add the meat, give a shake to distribute and quickly seal the end. If you are not quick fluids will come out of the meat and make it impossible to seal the bag.

7)       Double heat the seal to ensure it is firm or make a second seal.

8)       Rub all over but not to generously.

9)       Leave in fridge (very cold one) for 1 day for every ½ inch + two days. In this case It was 2.5” so that is 5 days + 2 days is 1 week. I turn every day to get fluids evenly spread.

10)    Gently rise in cold water discarding fluids and washing away thoroughly.

11)     Place bacon on metal rack in tray to dry for a while then cut in to chunks.

12)     Either vacuum pack or simply bag up for freezer or use within a week or so.

You will find that you might want to add extra salt as I do as I have found that the bacon is not salty enough. Also I think if you leave a little longer than a week it is also ok. Don’t worry about going over on cure time.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.animatedscience.co.uk/2010/pancetta

Daniel Powell Basic Pork & Sage Sausage (90% meat)

Daniel Powell Basic Pork & Sage Sausage Recipe (90% meat)

This is my first and best so far for a standard Pork Sausage. This one should work well and be close to what you can get in the supermarket but better. The ingredients must be the best and that will reflect in a good final product. You can modify the spice mix as much as you want but I would leave  the ingredients as they are as they balance quite well and chemically seem to work. However, you might actually get away with more emulsifiers such as mustard and egg.

  • 1.6kg Free Range Pork Shoulder Joint (remove rind & cube 1”)
  • 0.4kg Free Range Pork Belly (remove rind & cube 1”)
  • 2 Large Free Range eggs
  • 2.5 tea sp Milled Black Pepper
  • 2.4 tea sp Milled Sea Salt
  • 1 tea sp Ground Nutmeg
  • 0.5 tea sp Ground Mace
  • 5 tsp Dried Sage
  • 1x Squirt Tomatoes Puree Concentrate
  • 1 table sp Dijon Mustard
  •  160 gram Fresh White Breadcrumbs.
  • 300ml water (including 4 ice cubes)
  • 9 ice cubes for adding later.


1)      Chill meat to very cold, then remove skin and discard, dice into 1” cubes. Put back into fridge for 1 hour. Add 5 ice cubes.

2)      Mix all the ingredients from fresh i.e. grate nutmeg, grind peper etc.. to make a smooth paste then add the cubes. You can adjust the herbs as you wish or add garlic etc..

3)      Mix the ingredients using a wooden spoon very thoroughly with pork cubes and return to the fridge.

4)      Setup grinder on medium grind. Grind pork in 2 stages returning to fridge asap with remaining 4 ice cubes. When you have ground all the meat, remove from fridge and mix for about 5 minutes until very sticky. Return to the fridge to get really cold.

5)      Take Pig Intestine cases, rinse and soak for 30 minutes in cold water. Then feed onto the suffer nozzle which should be set upright in the bowl of water. Then hold the cases from top up to feed on smoothly.

6)      Setup the stuffer ensuring you have removed the blade. Remove the ice cubes which have not melted from the mix. Stuff the sausages as quick as you can, making sure the cases feel quite full.

7)      Weigh into 1lb lots which is about 5/4 sausages and then pat dry and vacuum pack for freezer.

Key Issues

  • You must keep the mixture very cold or the fat breaks from the meat and the texture is poor.
  • If the pork shoulder is low on fat the belly should balance things.
  • Make sure the mixture is wet as the breadcrumbs need it.
  • Mix for a long time to enable the salt to start to break down the myosin protein strands to emulsify the sausage.
  • Don’t overcook and use a thermometer to check when they are done, it is surprising how quick they cook.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.animatedscience.co.uk/2010/daniel-powell-basic-pork-sage-sausage-90-meat

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