“A Bizarre Glow” –Colossal Cosmic Explosion Unleashes More Energy Than the Sun During Its 10-Billion Year Life


“A Bizarre Glow” --Cosmic Explosion Unleashes More Energy Than the Sun During Its 10-Billion Year Life


In a half-second flash of light in May of this year, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope detected the most powerful explosion since the Big Bang –the brightest infrared light from a short gamma-ray burst ever seen with a bizarre glow that is more luminous than previously thought was possible, unleashing more energy in a blink of an eye than the Sun will produce over its entire 10-billion-year lifetime. This near-infrared emission was 10 times brighter than predicted, defying conventional models.


Enormous Flash from Milky Way’s Black Hole –“Lit the Magellanic Stream Like a Christmas Tree”

Enormous Flash from Milky Way's Black Hole --"Lit the Magellanic Stream Like a Christmas Tree"


Hubble’s infrared eye unveiled an enormous flash from Milky Way’s black hole about 3.5 million years ago that lit up a portion of a massive ribbon-like gas structure called the Magellanic Stream of high-velocity clouds of gas torn out of the Magellanic Clouds hundreds of millions of years ago, extending from the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds through the Galactic south pole of the Milky Way. The flash ionized its hydrogen (enough to make 100 million Suns) by stripping atoms of their electrons. The radiation cone was surely witnessed by Earth’s early hominids, already afoot on the African savannas as the ghostly glow spread high overhead in the then unnamed constellation Sagittarius.


A Strange, Unnaturally Bright Object –“May Be the Birth of a Black Hole or Neutron Star”

The Cow


In January of 2019, astronomers at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii and the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy’s ATLAS twin telescopes, reported evidence of the exact moment a star collapsed to form a compact object, such as a black hole or neutron star. They dubbed the object “The Cow”, shown in the image above, just visible as one of two bright spots in the lower right quadrant of the spiral galaxy classified as CGCG 137-068. The objects incredibly bright glow –10 to 100 times brighter than a typical supernova–was caused by stellar debris, swirling around its event horizon.


Story of the Milky Way’s Fermi Bubbles –“As Large as the Galaxy Itself”

Fermi Bubbles


In 2010, astronomers working with the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope revealed a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way that spans 50,000 light-years that was hypothesized to be the remnant of an eruption from Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. The bubble emissions, much more energetic than the gamma-ray fog seen elsewhere in the Milky Way, spans more than half of the visible sky, a region roughly as large as the galaxy itself, and it may be millions of years old, its origin, until now, an unsolved mystery.


“Unfathomable” –Black Hole Explosion Carved a Cosmic Crater Equal to 15 Milky Way Galaxies


Black Hole Explosion


Astronomers have discovered the biggest explosion seen in the universe, a gargantuan event originating from a super-massive black hole in a cluster of galaxies 390 million light-years away, blasted a crater in the hot gas that could hold 15 Milky Ways. The event in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster was five times bigger than the previous record-holder.


Unveiling the “Gates of Hell” –Astronomers Using Cosmic Echoes to Reveal Black Holes


M87 Black Hole


On April 10, 2019 the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team unveiled humanity’s first image of a supermassive black hole –described as the Gates of Hell and the End of Spacetime– the picture of galaxy Messier 87’s central supermassive black hole –a monster the size of our solar system. The April event was as epic as the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, with the world viewing its first image of what had once been purely theoretical, the black hole at the heart of galaxy M87. Now, moving beyond photons, astronomers are using the echoes of X-ray radiation to map the dynamic behavior and surroundings of a black hole.