Big News: Cygnus A Has a New Black Hole!
The National Radio Astronomy Telescope just released big news about an exciting find. Cygnus A, a galaxy 800 million miles away, appears to have developed a new black hole.
Cygnus A was discovered in 1939 by radio astronomers. Subsequent observation of the galaxy revealed it to have a super-massive black hole in its center. The last recent images had been taken in 1996, but subsequent developments in technology spurred astronomers to take another look with the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) in 2015 and 2016.
What they found shocked them. In addition to the super-massive black hole that previously had been identified, Cygnus A had another black hole less than 1,500 light years from the central one. All indications point to this additional black hole having "turned on" sometime after 1996.
While the explanation for the new black hole isn't exactly clear, one leading theory is that it's the result of a collision of two galaxies. What isn't clear is why the second super-massive black hole doesn't appear to have been as active prior to its recent activation.
Check out the video below for some images.
Fascinating. We'll keep you up to date with any further developments.