posted on May, 9 2005 @ 10:43 PM
The lead scientist for the Swift gamma-ray burst (GRB) satellite mission has reported the capture of a black hole's formative moments in the gamma,
x-ray and visible spectra. The observation was confirmed by ground-based telescopes which were directed to the event by alerts from the satellite.
GREENBELT, Md. - The birth of a black hole has been captured for the first time, a
NASA scientist said Monday.
NASA's Swift orbiting observatory detected the gamma ray burst of the collision between two dense neutron stars about early Monday and pointed its
visible light and X-ray telescopes at the collision about a minute later, said Neil Gehrels, lead scientist for the Swift mission.
"The birth cry of a black hole is one way people like to put it," Gehrels said, adding the huge flash of gamma rays was "seen across the whole
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Black holes continue to move from the theoretical arena toward the practical. This observation is particularly exciting in that it offers data
regarding the signatures of a probable black hole resulting from the collision of two neutron stars.
With its coordinates recorded, astronomers can now observe the aftermath of the collision and glean data which may help identify black holes and
high-gravity bodies in other regions of space.
Meanwhile, the Swift satellite seems to be earning its keep as a watchdog which can capture fast-moving astronomical events and alert scientists to
them for immediate study.
Pretty cool stuff!
[edit on 5/9/2005 by Majic]