Rare Star Explosion Reveals Hidden Black Hole in Our Galaxy
Photo courtesy Yahoo.com
YAHOO.COM - Astronomers have spotted a rare X-ray star explosion near the center of our Milky Way galaxy, revealing a previously unknown black hole munching on gas from a neighboring sun-like star.
NASA's Swift satellite
made the cosmic find last month when it detected a new and rapidly
brightening X-ray source a few degrees from the galactic center of the
Milky Way. Astronomers identified the outburst as a short-lived bright
X-ray nova, which is produced when a stream of gas rushes toward either a
neutron star or a black hole.
Unlike a supernova, which is the explosive death of a star, novas are
smaller explosions that do not completely destroy a star.
The black hole
is thought to be 20,000 to 30,000 light-years away in the galaxy's
inner region. Astronomers, who named the bright X-ray nova Swift
J1745-26 after its coordinates in space, said witnessing such an event
is rare. click here to read more
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