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Black hole discovered after bizarre supernova


Researchers found what may be the youngest black hole in the galaxy.


X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/L.Lopez et al; Infrared: Palomar; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA

Scientists may have found the youngest black hole in the Milky Way.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers found the black hole using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The discovery, W49B, is actually the remnants of a supernova but it likely contains a black hole.

Wired poetically described the results of the supernova:

Supernova remnants are the former guts of a star, spilled out across interstellar space by a violent explosion that ended the star’s life.

The exploding star is said to be the first of its kind to be discovered in the galaxy given the way it exploded along the poles instead of collapsing inward as it often does.

The explosion is usually symmetrical, said Red Orbit, but this one saw materials on the star's poles shooting away, creating an asymmetric explosion.

“In addition to its unusual signature of elements, W49B also is much more elongated and elliptical than most other remnants,” said study co-author Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, according to E! Science News

“This is seen in X-rays and several other wavelengths and points to an unusual demise for this star.”

Scientists figure that because no evidence of a neutron star (left behind after such explosions) was found, a black hole likely formed instead.

NASA said that the fact that W49B is so much closer than other similar findings, it may be very useful in studying supernova explosions, which are little understood.

The findings were published in the Astrophysical Journal.

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