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It Came From a Black Hole... And No, This is Not an April Fool's Joke

04/01/2016 05:12PM

It Came From a Black Hole... And No, This is Not an April Fool's Joke

The baffling and strange behavior of black holes has become somewhat less mysterious recently. As we know, super-massive black holes don't give off any light themselves, but are often encircled by disks of hot, glowing material. The gravity of a black hole pulls swirling gas into it, heating this material and causing it to shine brightly in multiple wavelengths. Another source of radiation near a black hole is the corona, which is made up of highly energetic particles that generate massive amounts of X-rays. In September 2014, NASA's Explorer missions Swift and NuSTAR caught Markarian 335, a super-massive black hole near the constellation Pegasus, in a huge flare. After careful scrutiny, the astronomers realized they were seeing the ejection, and eventual collapse, of the black hole's corona shooting away at about 20 percent the speed of light.


Comments:

  • NMBob [Robert Greschke]
  • 04/05/2016 04:28AM
What in the galaxy does "near the constellation Pegasus" mean? I didn't know there were any areas of the sky that were not in any constellation. Is this the dumbing down of astronomy?<br>
<br>Robert:<br><br>The actual JPL quotation is: Markarian 335 is "located 324 million light years away in the direction of the constellation Pegasus."<br><br>I would have preferred to say it is "located in the constellation Pegasus," but from the way it was stated in the JPL article, I wasn't quite sure.<br><br>Hope this helps.<br><br>Guy<br><br><br><br><br><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="italic"><i>Robert Greschke said:</i><br><br>What in the galaxy does "near the constellation Pegasus" mean? I didn't know there were any areas of the sky that were not in any constellation. Is this the dumbing down of astronomy?<br></div></blockquote>