New black hole thrills astronomers

Astronomers may have lucked into the ultimate in cosmic baby pictures: a voracious black hole fresh from its violent birth.

This composite image provided by NASA

This composite image provided by NASA

WASHINGTON — Astronomers may have lucked into the ultimate in cosmic baby pictures: a voracious black hole fresh from its violent birth.

Scientists now believe the 1979 death of a star they viewed was no ordinary one.

Its explosive death was big enough to cause a black hole to develop in its wake.

They think it’s a black hole because they can observe something steadily consuming the gassy remnants of the exploded star.

Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb (LOHB) says that in the past 30 years since this star exploded, this baby black hole has eaten roughly equivalent of the Earth in mass.

His paper is reported in the journal New Astronomy.

Online:

NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory: http://chandra.nasa.gov