And The Object Was…

… a baby black hole.

That press conference by NASA I blogged about last week? They have discovered a black hole that is only 30 years old. That makes it younger than me, and probably younger than a lot of you as well.

In fact it might be younger than that. The 30 years figure is based on the appearance of the supernova whose collapse is believed to have formed the black hole. I’m guessing that the point at which the singularity was formed is not entirely certain. The black hole is visible now because it is feeding: i.e. dragging in material from the local region.

Of course in space, time is relative to distance, so while the black hole looks to be only 30 years old to us, it is actually around 50 million years old because that’s how many light years away it is. But for scientists studying the x-rays coming from it, it is still very exciting. Full details here.

But no alien spaceship, I’m afraid. Sorry.

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2 Responses to And The Object Was…

  1. Brewster says:

    If anything, a baby singularity is almost as interesting as some alien spaceship or inhabited world: observing black holes as they grow will be useful to prove or disprove a few theories about them.

  2. Kendall says:

    Oh, it’ll take (according to SF shows) for-ev-er for a black hole to kill me. Especially one in another galaxy! BTW good point re. the true age of it. That slipped by me.

    Hmm, maybe they’re mistaken and it’s an alien spaceship that emits x-rays…. ;-)

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