Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Youngest Black Hole Discovered

Dan points out a recent NASA discovery. In 1979 something very rare took place. In the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light years from Earth, a star exploded into a super-nova. A black hole was born in the remnant of the star, SN 1979C. Am I saying that black holes are rare? No, however, having one form in our neighborhood, practically speaking at out front door, is though.

What makes this explosion so very unique is best explained by the NASA science news article.
  • 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 object provides a unique opportunity to watch a black hole develop from infancy.
That's right, most black holes that have been discovered are fantastically far removed from our local group and even the Milky Way galaxy. Even more astounding is that most are millions and millions of years old. To uncover evidence of one so close and younger than a human lifespan is stupendous good luck! Plus the first one we have been able to study from birth!

The singularity is still very small, but it is busily consuming the remnants gasses of the exploded star or, stranger still, has a binary companion that it is feeding off. In any case, in the past 30 years it has absorbed about the mass of Earth, which is right in line with what would be considered as much as it possibly could in so short a period.

And here is an article from Newsy.com sent in by Brandon Twichell

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