In News

    • A mysterious and intensely bright flash of light coming from halfway across the universe earlier this year had stunned astronomers worldwide.

    Key Findings

    • The source of the intense beam has now been identified — a supermassive black hole ripping apart a star, pointing directly at Earth. 
    • The jet of light was brighter than 1,000 trillion suns
    • Scientists from multiple institutions, including India, helped trace the activity powered by the black hole, 8.5 billion light years away from Earth. 

    About Black Holes

    • A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot escape
    • The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
    • How Do Black Holes Form:
      • Scientists think the smallest black holes formed when the universe began.
      • Stellar black holes are made when the center of a very big star falls in upon itself or collapses. When this happens, it causes a supernova. A supernova is an exploding star that blasts part of the star into space.
      • Scientists think supermassive black holes were made at the same time as the galaxy they are in.
    • Visibility: 
      • Because no light can get out, they are invisible. 
      • Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. 
      • The gases swirling around actually help in getting their images.
    • Size:
      • Black holes can be big or small. 
      • Scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain. 
      • Another kind of black hole is called “stellar.” Its mass can be up to 20 times more than the mass of the sun. 
      • The largest black holes are called ‘supermassive’ and they have masses that are more than 1 million suns together. 
    • SgrA*:
      • The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy is called Sagittarius A.
      • It has a mass equal to about 4 million suns and would fit inside a very large ball that could hold a few million Earths.

    Image Courtesy: USA Today 

    Source: DTE