It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Then, on April 24 of 2013, a cascade of surprising data started coming in from their telescopes. The first telescope to notice the sudden change was Swift, an orbital NASA telescope.
"We were watching the supermassive black hole, trying to pick up a little bit of a signature in the X-ray wavelengths from this interaction, and then BANG, the magnetar went off," she told Live Science, clapping her hands together for emphasis.
There was a bright flash of X-ray light. At first, astronomers thought they were seeing some new and unprecedented behavior from the black hole, possibly a massive flare, Haggard said. Most X-ray observatories don't have the resolution to distinguish between two objects, especially with the magnetar flaring that brightly.