NASA’s Chandra observatory captures data through X-ray technology. The black hole is 7,800 light-years from Earth.
Black holes remain the most mysterious objects that exist in the universe. But the advance that has been obtained from NASA and the rest of the scientific organizations that study astronomy is truly surprising.
The simple fact that several have already been detected in different regions of the cosmos is an achievement to celebrate. And also, that among so many that exist, having the first glimpse of the black hole of the Milky Way raises the milestones of science.
In this astronomical context, NASA is constantly observing the events that occur in the depths of the cosmos. Instruments such as those found at ALMA (Chile) are fundamental for the visualization of black holes.
But other technologies, such as the Chandra X-ray Observatory, manage to capture data to illustrate what a black hole located 7,800 light years away from Earth looks like.
That, precisely, was what scientists achieved with the Chandra data. In collaboration with the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, they showed an image of how spectacular rings of energy form around a black hole.
Giant rings around the black hole
In a report that NASA publishes on its official website, they highlight that the X-ray images of the giant rings reveal information about the dust located in our galaxy.
To achieve these images they used a principle similar to X-rays performed in doctors’ offices and airports.
The black hole in question is part of a binary system called V404 Cygni, located about 7,800 light-years from Earth.
This black hole is actively moving material from a companion star, with about half the mass of the Sun, into a disk around the unseen object. Such material glows in X-rays, which is why astronomers refer to these systems as “X-ray binaries.”