Feeds

Brand-new black hole found in supernova remnant

Chandra spots ‘thousand year old’ blast

Top three mobile application threats

NASA has released images from the Chandra X-Ray observatory which appear to show a distorted supernova remnant harbouring the youngest black hole ever observed.

Careful with the dates: NASA says it’s a thousand years old as seen from Earth - which means something slightly different to “it happened in 1013”. The remnant, W49B, is actually 26,000 light-years distant.

What’s unusual about W49B is that when its star went supernova, it didn’t explode in a nice, neat sphere: instead, the material ejected in the explosion was moving much faster at its poles.

Such "bipolar" supernovae are rare, and need stars much more massive than the sun to form. MIT’s Laura Lopez said this makes W49B “the first of its kind” seen in the Milky Way.

The polar jets shaped both the supernova explosion and its aftermath, NASA states.

Strange shape: NASA image of supernova remnant W49B

The researchers say iron is only found in half of the remnant, while other elements like sulphur and silicon are more evenly distributed – and this discrepancy is what hints at the asymmetrical explosion.

“W49B also is much more elongated and elliptical than most other remnants,” said co-author Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz of the University of California at Santa Cruz. “This is seen in X-rays and several other wavelengths and points to an unusual demise for this star.”

The researchers infer the presence of the black hole because none of the data captured by Chandra reveal a neutron star left behind by the blast. While calling the evidence “circumstantial”, MIT’s Daniel Castro says “If that is the case, we have a rare opportunity to study a supernova responsible for creating a young black hole.”

The research, to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, is available on Arxiv, here.. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.