On the bird app, I play a game with my followers called .

I show X-ray data of supermassive black hole from the Chandra X-ray telescope, and ask my followers if they think it's an image of a single point source or a dual point source (aka possible a pair of SMBHs)!

For the smallest separated SMBH pairs, it's not very easy to tell if the data is 1 or 2 !

What do you think? Is this a single or a dual? I'll send a sticker of a black hole cat to someone who guesses correctly!

@citizen_astro @AdiFoord Ha! I have no idea what the correct answer is! Though I did have a pretty good streak going in my 1vs2 guesses on the birdapp for a while 😂

@_astronoMay @AdiFoord I couldn't tell either way! I honestly thought it looked like one of those 3D poster things from the 90s 💁‍♂️

@AdiFoord one black hole (as no-one has said that yet)!


I was going for two before seeing the other answers and I'll stick with it

@AdiFoord Not that I could explain why in precise terms, but I'm thinking 2.

@AdiFoord ok so I’d guess with that background it would be poorly fit as a single point source, so I’ll say either a double or an extended source - but maybe that’s a cheaty answer :) Very hard to tell the difference- depends I think (?) on the quadrupole moment, which needs really great SNR to measure, according to old deconvolution papers by Leon Lucy

@AdiFoord I really want to say single point-source, but I have absolutely nothing to back that up besides "vibe"

@AdiFoord with the assumption that you cannot see the center of a black hole, I presume there's just one in this case.

@AdiFoord that sticker is great and this topic is great so how can I not venture a guess! Double is my totally uneducated guess :)

@AdiFoord This is awesome :D Let's say ... coin flip... single source, definitely.
What is the source of the X ray? Accretion disk, or polar jets, or something else?

@orange_orangutan for this source, it's likely emission associated with the accretion disk!

@AdiFoord is there some background information we can read? What does the color intensity map to? What's the size of a pixel? It sounds like a fun game.

@AdiFoord Cool! I'll guess dual. Does the color difference represent something having to do with magnitude?

@marcolas yes! A darker color means more counts are clustered in that pixel

@AdiFoord that's pretty fascinating. I study chart patterns for e.g. equities so it reminds me a bit of that. Does subjective pattern recall seem to help in these studies?

I have no idea what you're talking about, but I will happily pay you for a sticker.

@noble you have a 50% chance of being right with a random guess 😊 but my Etsy store is:

Okay, here goes nuthin'. ... I'm so nervous ... let me catch my breath ... okay... um... .... .... 2?

@AdiFoord I have negative idea how to interpret the plot on the left, but can I ask where I can purchase a black hole kitty sticker??

@ashinonyx you have a 50% chance of being right with a random guess 😊 but my Etsy store is:


For entertainment value, I'm going to say one black hole but maybe it's eating something?

@AdiFoord 2? I don’t exactly know what I’m looking at, but it makes cool pixel art so I stitched it 😂

#CrossStitch #SciencyArt

@ejk @AdiFoord Have to think of Conways game of life immediately.

@ejk Also, message me your address and I will send you a sticker!

@ejk @AdiFoord

The nerd in me looks at it as a frame from a Life simulation - betcha there's some Glider Gun cross-stitch out there...

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