Thursday, January 07, 2016

How to See a Black-hole With a Small Telescope

Blackholes are one of the most mysterious and powerful objects in the universe. Plus, due to their nature, all but invisible.

Scientists traditionally have used x-ray or gamma ray telescopes in hopes of locating new singularities.

Unfortunately these installations are large and expensive, well outside the capabilities of the back yard astronomer.

Now, according the the original Gizmodo article, a new study suggests that we could accomplish the same thing with
nothing more than a standard, optical 8-inch telescope.

This hat trick is accomplished by one of the most common black hole - an X-Ray binary consisting of a massive dead star that proceeds to absorb all the material in it's vicinity.   This leads to the emission of huge amounts of X-Rays, but a new discovery shows that the X-Ray binary also emits a small amount of low - level light, but well within the capabilities of a modest backyard telescope.

Using data from a nearby black hole (V404 Cygni which had a recent flickering event) the black hole was show to emit low-energy photons which makes the singularity "flicker" and visible to even modest telescopes.

Video  of  V404 Cygni flickering

Complete Gizmodo article

No comments: