Monday 22 January 2018

NASA captures corona launching from supermassive black hole

Images taken by NASA's Swift telescopes
Images taken by NASA's Swift telescopes Credit:NASA/NuSTAR

Sarah-Jane Murphy

NASA telescopes have captured a massive explosion of X-rays, which appear to radiate out of a black hole deep in space.

Scientists believe that the blast may assist in answering questions regarding the phenonomum.

"This is the first time we have been able to link the launching of the corona to a flare,’ said Dan Wilkins of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada

"This will help us understand how supermassive black holes power some of the brightest objects in the universe."

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Following a large flare coming from a 'supermassive black hole' called Markarian 335, or Mrk 335, NASA began monitoring the sky for cosmic outbursts of X-rays and gamma rays.

Mrk335 is located some 324 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Pegasus.

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It was once one of the brightest sources of X-ray light in the sky.

Fiona Harrison, principal investigator of NuSTAR at the California Institute of Technology emphasised how important the latest explosion was in terms of information gathering.

"The nature of the energetic source of X-rays we call the corona is mysterious, but now with the ability to see dramatic changes like this we are getting clues about its size and structure,’ she said

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