Friday, November 18, 2011

Distance measurement is key to producing first "complete description" of a black hole

Scientists’ have been able to reconstruct the history of Cygnus X-1 from its birth some six million years ago.
By NRAO, Socorro, New Mexico Published: November 18, 2011
Artist's conception of Cygnus X-1: Black hole draws material from companion star (right) into hot, swirling disk. Chandra X-Ray Observatory/NASA
For the first time, astronomers have produced a complete description of a black hole, a concentration of mass so dense that not even light can escape its powerful gravitational pull. Their precise measurements have allowed them to reconstruct the history of the object from its birth some six million years ago.


Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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