NASA Observed A Black Hole Doing Something Really Weird

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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NASA spotted a mysterious object shoot away from supermassive black hole Markarian 335.

Two of NASA’s telescopes, including the agency’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), observed a large mysterious object being launched away from a supermassive black hole, followed by a huge pulse of X-ray energy. Researchers suspect that the object was the black hole’s corona.

“This is the first time we have been able to link the launching of the corona to a flare,” Dr. Dan Wilkins, an astronomer at Saint Mary’s University, said in a press statement. “This will help us understand how supermassive black holes power some of the brightest objects in the universe.”

Wilkins and other researchers suspect that the corona “surrounding” the black hole first shrunk around it and then, through some mechanism they don’t understand, shot away in a pulse-like beam. The scientists noted that nature of the energetic source is “mysterious,” but added that it will provide clues about the black hole’s size and structure.

Markarian 335 is 324 million light-years away from Earth.

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