Picture of the Day: A 'Remarkable' Outburst From a Black Hole in a Neighboring Galaxy

More

m83.jpg

In Messier 83, a barred spiral galaxy some 15 million light years away ("nearby," by cosmic standards), scientists have observed a "remarkable" outburst from a black hole -- its X-ray output has increased by a factor of 3,000. The above image on the left comes from optical data collected by the Very Large Telescope in Chile and shows the whole galaxy. On the right is a zoomed-in section combining data from NASA's Chandra and Hubble telescopes, with Chandra's X-ray data shown in pink and Hubble's optical data appearing in blue. The "ultraluminous X-ray source" (ULX) is the bright pink dot near the bottom of the right-hand image. The brightening that Chandra observed over a several-year period is one of the largest changes in X-ray output ever observed from a black hole.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NASA.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In