Menu
Share
 
Switch to Desktop Site

Black hole emits humongous energy burst (+video)

An unusual brightness, documented by NASA's Chandra telescope appears to be coming from a black hole.

A NASA-hosted news conference in Washington highlights imagery and data captured by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory about the early universe's growth of supermassive black holes in galaxies.
About these ads

A NASA space telescope has detected an incredible energy burst from a distant black hole, an explosion so intense that it boosted the black hole's X-ray brightness by at least 3,000 times, scientists say.

The outburst came from a black hole in the spiral galaxy M83, about 15 million light-years away from Earth. Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers found a new object, called an ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX),  that emits more X-rays than most "normal" systems in which a companion star orbits around a black hole or neutron star, the researchers said.

The observations from Chandra spanned several years, and scientists noticed that the ULX in M83 increased its X-ray brightness by at least 3,000 times.

This surprisingly sudden brightening is one of the largest changes in X-rays ever seen for this type of object, according to the researchers. In fact, ultraluminous X-ray sources do not typically have periods of dormancy. [Photos: Black Holes of the Universe]

In the accompanying image, the left is an optical view of M83. On the right is a composite image showing X-ray data from Chandra in pink and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope in blue and yellow. The ULX is located near the bottom of the composite image. 

Next

Page:   1   |   2   |   3


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Loading...