Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Birth of the Black Hole Witnessed: A “Rosetta Stone Event” for Astronomy

Chances are, all of us know a little something about black holes. They are said to be the vacuum cleaners of the universe (the *very powerful* vacuum cleaners of the universe). They consume asteroids, stars, and entire solar systems. As such, they stand as a kind of sublime horror – the mind is drawn to, and simultaneously recoils from, the awesomeness of these vast cosmological structures. However, despite their grandeur, they are exceedingly difficult to study. But things are changing…

This week scientists saw a gamma ray burst that is more powerful than what many thought was theoretically possible. This event has been dubbed GRB 130427A, and researchers believe that they observed the collapse of a giant star and the birth of a black hole.

Read about this first ever observation at:

Image source: NASA

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