Follow Us:
Monday, August 15, 2022

NASA discovers new black hole in Milky Way

Astronomers think the object resides about 20,000 to 30,000 light-years away in the galaxy's inner region.

Written by Agencies | Washington |
October 7, 2012 4:29:52 pm

NASA’s Swift satellite has found evidence of the presence of a previously unknown stellar-mass black hole in our Milky Way galaxy.

Named Swift J1745-26 after the coordinates of its sky position,the nova is located a few degrees from the centre of our galaxy towards the constellation Sagittarius,NASA said.

While astronomers do not know its precise distance,they think the object resides about 20,000 to 30,000 light-years away in the galaxy’s inner region.

The satellite detected a rising tide of high-energy X-rays from a source toward the centre of Milky Way and the outburst,produced by a rare X-ray nova,announced the presence of the black hole.

Subscriber Only Stories
Re-Defining The Tradition In Folk Art: An Art Educator’s PerspectivePremium
Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences (SSSS) launches undergraduate program...Premium
MIT World Peace University launches Five-Year Integrated B.Tech with MBA ...Premium
Bring Home The Ultimate Solution For The Whole Family With Airtel Xstream...Premium

“Bright X-ray novae are so rare that they’re essentially once-a-mission events and this is the first one Swift has seen,” said Neil Gehrels,the mission’s principal investigator,at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

“This is really something we’ve been waiting for,” Gehrels said.

An X-ray nova is a short-lived X-ray source that appears suddenly,reaches its emission peak in a few days and then fades out over a period of months.


The outburst arises when a torrent of stored gas suddenly rushes toward one of the most compact objects known,either a neutron star or a black hole.

Ground-based observatories detected infrared and radio emissions,but thick clouds of obscuring dust have prevented astronomers from catching Swift J1745-26 in visible light.

“The pattern we’re seeing is observed in X-ray novae where the central object is a black hole. Once the X-rays fade away,we hope to measure its mass and confirm its black hole status,” said Boris Sbarufatti,an astrophysicist at Brera Observatory in Milan,Italy.


The black hole must be a member of a low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) system,which includes a normal,Sun-like star. A stream of gas flows from the normal star and enters into a storage disk around the black hole.

In most LMXBs,the gas in the disk spirals inward,heats up as it heads toward the black hole,and produces a steady stream of X-rays.

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest News Archive News, download Indian Express App.

First published on: 07-10-2012 at 04:29:52 pm
Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments