Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, November 24, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 24, 2018 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills



Many of you had a favorite subject in 
school. Many studies have shown that 
what you like is what you’re good at. And 
I love Sparkling Wine and Champagne, so 
it gives me a great satisfaction to continue 
our month long look at various wines 
that Sparkle. A quick history lesson; 
Even though he spent most of his career 
trying to rid his wine of bubbles, Dom 
Pérignon’s pioneering techniques were 
used to make white wine from red wine 
grapes. This process would eventually 
come to influence the development of all 
modern Sparkling Champagnes. It seems 
that the wine in the Monk’s caves often 
exploded. Luckily for us, Dom eventually 
embraced his method. Once he got the 
process down his famous words were, 
“Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”

 We look this week towards the region 
of Sonoma to the Gloria Ferrer Winery. 
I have enjoyed their sparklers for years, 
although not as common or as assessable 
as their counterparts in Napa, it’s truly 
a delightful wine. This Brut consists of 
91% Pinot Noir and 9 % Chardonnay. An 
award winning wine, you bet it is! The Gloria Ferrer Winery has won over 400 gold medals and has 
exceeded 90+ points over 30 times in the past five years. When I see Gloria Ferrer on a restaurant 
menu, especially by the glass, I never hesitate to order it. The Brut has a phenomenal taste backed 
up by a toasty finish. In layman’s terms: you experience a wonderful bubbly sensation in your mouth! 
Goes great with Roasted Garlic Chicken and King Crab Legs.

 My recent contribution to a wine and cheese party where the guests were asked to bring a bottle of 
wine was the Gloria Ferrer Brut. It went over with a Splash!

Dills Score

 Each week I will give you my Dills Score. I have added points for value. I’m starting with a base of 50 
points; I added 7 points for color, 7 points for aroma or “nose”, 11 points for taste, 9 points for finish, 
and 9 points for my overall impression, which includes my value rating.

 Total Score 93, retail $22 on Sale around $17 at most area supermarkets

 Email Peter at on facebook he is Peter Dills


Peering through thick walls of gas and dust 
surrounding the messy cores of merging galaxies, 
astronomers are getting their best view yet of close 
pairs of supermassive black holes as they march 
toward coalescence into mega black holes.

 A team of researchers led by Michael Koss of 
Eureka Scientific Inc., in Kirkland, Washington, 
performed the largest survey of the cores of 
nearby galaxies in near-infrared light, using high-
resolution images taken by NASA’s Hubble Space 
Telescope ( and the W. 
M. Keck Observatory ( 
in Hawaii. The Hubble observations represent over 
20 years’ worth of snapshots from its vast archive.

 “Seeing the pairs of merging galaxy nuclei 
associated with these huge black holes so close 
together was pretty amazing,” Koss said. “In our 
study, we see two galaxy nuclei right when the 
images were taken. You can’t argue with it; it’s a very 
‘clean’ result, which doesn’t rely on interpretation.”

 The images also provide a close-up preview of a 
phenomenon that must have been more common 
in the early universe, when galaxy mergers were 
more frequent. When galaxies collide, their 
monster black holes can unleash powerful energy in 
the form of gravitational waves, the kind of ripples 
in space-time that were just recently detected by 
ground-breaking experiments.

 The new study also offers a preview of what will 
likely happen in our own cosmic backyard, in 
several billion years, when our Milky Way combines 
with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy and their 
respective central black holes smash together.

 “Computer simulations of galaxy smashups show 
us that black holes grow fastest during the final 
stages of mergers, near the time when the black 
holes interact, and that’s what we have found in our 
survey,” said study team member Laura Blecha of 
the University of Florida, in Gainesville. “The fact 
that black holes grow faster and faster as mergers 
progress tells us galaxy encounters are really 
important for our understanding of how these 
objects got to be so monstrously big.”

 A galaxy merger is a slow process lasting more 
than a billion years as two galaxies, under the 
inexorable pull of gravity, dance toward each other 
before finally joining together. Simulations reveal 
that galaxies kick up plenty of gas and dust as they 
undergo this slow-motion train wreck.

 The ejected material often forms a thick curtain 
around the centers of the coalescing galaxies, 
shielding them from view in visible light. Some of 
the material also falls onto the black holes at the 
cores of the merging galaxies. The black holes grow 
at a fast clip as they engorge themselves with their 
cosmic food, and, being messy eaters, they cause the 
infalling gas to blaze brightly. This speedy growth 
occurs during the last 10 million to 20 million years 
of the union. The Hubble and Keck Observatory 
images captured close-up views of this final stage, 
when the bulked-up black holes are only about 
3,000 light-years apart—a near-embrace in cosmic 

 The team first searched for visually obscured, 
active black holes by sifting through 10 years’ worth 
of X-ray data from the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) 
aboard NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Telescope, a 
high-energy space observatory. “Gas falling onto 
the black holes emits X-rays, and the brightness of 
the X-rays tells you how quickly the black hole is 
growing,” Koss explained. 

You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@

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