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NASA Finds Youngest Black Hole

FEBRUARY 14, 2013

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Researchers at NASA have discovered the youngest black hole in the Milky Way galaxy, which is only 1000-years-old and just 26,000 light-years away from the Earth.


Data from Chandra X-ray Observatory suggest that the remnant of a distorted supernova may have the latest black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy. The remnant, labelled W49B, seems to be the result of a rare explosion.




Mostly when a massive star exhausts all its fuel, its central region collapses, triggering a events that end in a supernova explosion. Most such explosions are symmetrical, with the stellar material blasting away evenly in all directions. However, in the W49B supernova, material near the poles was ejected at a much higher speed than the material coming from its equator. Jets shooting away from the star’s poles mainly shaped the supernova explosion and its aftermath.


The remnant now shimmers brightly in X-rays and other wavelengths, indicating a peculiar explosion. By tracing different elements in the stellar debris, researchers compared the actual data to the data predicted by theoretical models.


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