A black hole is an area of spacetime in which massive amounts of gravity prevent things from escaping. This actually includes all light including reflections, hence the term black hole. These huge mass bodies form when large stars explode at the end of their life or what is known as a supernova. Once the hole is formed it can continue to gain mass by absorbing everything around it, including other stars or even other existing black holes.
NASA has discovered many black holes in our galaxy, but they have all been formed and somewhat mature. Recently they have found what they believe is the remains of a recent supernova. From the Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA has captured everything on video and they have named the remains of the supernova W49B. Still pictures show the mass as a circular shape with swirling colors consisting of mainly blue, pinks, yellow and purple.
If viewed from Earth, it appears to be about 1,000 years old and is 26,000 light years away. Previous black holes are believed to be around 20,000 years old as seen from our planet. How does someone view a black hole if it is truly black and has no reflection ability? NASA is able to view the presence of a black hole by watching the effect on nearby stars and gas. It is a process that takes a lot of time and careful observation. The scientists were drawn to this particular area due to a rare explosion of a star. Normally these supernovas are very symmetrical as they launch matter in all directions. The oblong explosion of W49B is rare and caught the attention of the team.
After the supernova occurs typically the scientists will look at the center of the explosion to find a dense spinning mass which is called a neutron star. In the brief 2 day study on W49B they have found no such mass, which very well could imply a black whole has formed after the explosion. Daniel Castro of MIT is working on the case and said the following about the lack of a neutron star.
“It’s a bit circumstantial, but we have intriguing evidence the W49B supernova also created a black hole. If that is the case, we have a rare opportunity to study a supernova responsible for creating a young black hole.”
This newly discovered mass would be the youngest black whole to be discovered in the Milky Way Galaxy.
Milky Way’s Youngest Black Hole Discovered in a Supernova
NASA researchers report that they may have found the Milky Way’s youngest black hole in a glowing supernova just 26,000 light years away from Earth.