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NASA Discovers Youngest Nearby Black Hole

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Composite image shows a supernova within the galaxy M100.

Composite image shows a supernova within the galaxy M100.

Follow the news conference today, NASA finally uncovers the mask of the ‘ exceptional object’ — the youngest black hole in our cosmic neighborhood.

The 30-year-old object is a remnant of SN 1979C, which is a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light year from earth we live on.

The discovery is observed by astronomers who use NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. It provides a unique opportunity to watch this type of object develop from infancy.

The scientists think SN 1979C was first discovered by an amateur astronomer in 1979. Then it formed when a star about 20 times more massive than the sun collapsed.

Many new black holes in the distant universe previously have been  detected in the form of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). However, SN 1979C is different because it is much closer and belongs to a class of supernovas unlikely to be associated with a GRB. Theory predicts most black holes in the universe should form when the core of a star collapses and a GRB is not produced.

Early yesterday, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) claimed it had discovered an ‘ exceptional object in our cosmic neighborhood’. It also said that further details would be disclosed at 12:30 pm. EST on Monday.

The animation of its formation can be watched from NASA video gallery.

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