Youngest Ever Nearby Black Hole Discovered

Composite image shows a supernova within galaxy M100Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood. The 30-year-old object provides a unique opportunity to watch a black hole develop from infancy.

The black hole is a remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light years from Earth. Data from Chandra, NASA’s Swift satellite, the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton and the German ROSAT observatory revealed a bright source of X-rays that has remained steady during observation from 1995 to 2007. This suggests the object is a black hole being fed either by material falling into it from the supernova or a binary companion.

Excerpt from NASA Science News

For more information and images, visit the Chandra page.

Link to the Dec 14, 2010 NES chat with Black Holes expert, Dr. Sten Odenwald, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Link to NES module, Black Holes Math. (Must be logged into the NES Virtual Campus as a participant of the NES project)

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.