Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Astronomers see black hole raging red
Violent red flashes, lasting just fractions of a second, have been observed during one of the brightest black hole outbursts in recent years. In June 2015, a black hole called V404 Cygni underwent dramatic brightening for about two weeks, as it devoured material that it had stripped off an orbiting companion star. V404 Cygni, which is about 7,800 light years from Earth, was the first definitive black hole to be identified in our Galaxy and can appear extremely bright when it is actively devouring material. Astronomers report that the black hole emitted dazzling red flashes lasting just fractions of a second, as it blasted out material that it could not swallow.