A NASA spacecraft has spotted strange light shifts near the heart of a supermassive black hole that could help scientists better understand the inner workings of these monstrous objects.
The agency's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Arrayprobe, or NuSTAR, looked on as a mysterious X-ray source, called a corona, moved closer to a supermassive black hole. The black hole's immense gravity pulled harder on the corona the closer it came, stretching and blurring the X-ray light in the process, researchers said.
"The corona recently collapsed in toward the black hole, with the result that the black hole's intense gravity pulled all the light down onto its surrounding disk, where material is spiraling inward," study lead author Michael Parker, of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, England, said in a statement.
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Could it be the remnants of stars that have been pulled in?
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Ben_Reilly wrote:Could it be the remnants of stars that have been pulled in?
Space actually frightens and has me mesmerised at the same time.
I love films about space and always think it looks like the loneliest place you could ever be....but so stunningly peaceful and beautiful too.
Fascinating and mind-boggling.
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