Youngest black hole created by explosion
The supernova remnant is located about 26,000 light-years away. REUTERS photoThe warped leftovers from a rare star explosion may be hiding the youngest black hole in our galaxy, a new study reveals, Yahoo News reported. The supernova remnant, called W49B, is about 1,000 years old as seen from Earth, and it is located about 26,000 light-years away. Scientists suspect it met an unusual demise.
“W49B is the first of its kind to be discovered in the galaxy,” study lead author Laura Lopez said in a statement. “It appears its parent star ended its life in a way that most others don’t.” Lopez and her team unveiled a dazzling video tour of the supernova remnant during a Feb. 13 announcement.
Typically, when a star reaches the end of its life and explodes in a supernova, it shoots stellar material away from its center more or less evenly in all directions, creating a relatively symmetrical cosmic object.
But this didn’t happen with the W49B explosion, scientists say. The star’s poles ejected debris more rapidly than its equator did, resulting in a supernova remnant with a distinctly asymmetrical shape.
Supernovas tend to leave behind an extremely dense spinning core called a neutron star, which often can be detected through X-ray or radio pulses. But scientists using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory found no evidence for a neutron star, which makes them believe a black hole might have formed in the supernova instead.