NASA scientists observed some rare black hole activity when nearby x-ray light, called a corona, was blurred by the extreme gravity. Using NASA’s nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope, known as NuSTAR, they were able to see the corona of light move closer to the super massive black hole named Markarian 335, located around 324 light-years away from Earth.
Using NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, known as NuSTAR, they were able to see the light stretching closer to the supermassive black hole named Markarian 335, located around 324 million light-years away from Earth.
As the black hole’s gravity pulled the x-ray light it created a blurring effect.
This isn’t the first time scientists have observed this kind of cosmic occurrence, but it is reportedly the clearest observation yet.
The Markarian 335 black hole has a mass around 10 million times higher than our sun, in an area only thirty times the diameter.
NuSTAR Principal Investigator Fiona Harrison from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena is quoted as saying: "NuSTAR's unprecedented capability for observing this and similar events allows us to study the most extreme light-bending effects of general relativity."
Little is understood about how black hole coronas form, and why they change shape over time.
The latest study of the blurred corona, along with subsequent observations, will help experts better understand more about black hole coronas in other galaxies.