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)

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


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

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In