ERIC Number: EJ727884
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-1
Newborn Black Holes
Science Teacher, v72 n7 p12 Oct 2005
Scientists using NASA's Swift satellite say they have found newborn black holes, just seconds old, in a confused state of existence. The holes are consuming material falling into them while somehow propelling other material away at great speeds. "First comes a blast of gamma rays followed by intense pulses of x-rays. The energies involved are much greater than anyone expected," says David Burrows of Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). These gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions known. They are forerunners of a massive star explosion called a hypernova, which is bigger than a supernova. Using Swift, scientists are finally able to see gamma-ray bursts within minutes after the trigger, instead of hours or days, and are privy to newborn black hole activity. Until this latest discovery, scientists assumed a simple scenario of a single explosion followed by a graceful afterglow of the dying embers. Several theories exist to describe this newly discovered phenomenon and most point to the presence of a newborn black hole.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A