Youngest Black Hole Discovered In Our Cosmic Backyard? Get Off Our Lawn!
Do you know what I have in my backyard? Dog shit and leaves. That’s about it. A few lawn chairs. But primarily? Dog shit and leaves. But that’s okay! Because I’m part of Spaceship Earth! And apparently astronomer wizard people have discovered a black hole that’s only thirty years old (if I understand this article correctly, which I probably don’t) close to us. Mind you, in space terms, close is a really fucking relative term.
The 30-year-old object is a remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light years from Earth. Data from Chandra, NASA’s Swift satellite, the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton and the German ROSAT observatory revealed a bright source of X-rays that has remained steady during observation from 1995 to 2007. This suggests the object is a black hole being fed either by material falling into it from the supernova or a binary companion.
The idea of a black hole with an observed age of only about 30 years is consistent with recent theoretical work. In 2005, a theory was presented that the bright optical light of this supernova was powered by a jet from a black hole that was unable to penetrate the hydrogen envelope of the star to form a GRB. The results seen in the observations of SN 1979C fit this theory very well.
These astronomer wizards man, I’m pretty sure they’re just magicians. The world is powered on magic. And we’ve all been tricked. This is some insane bullshit, and I love it. Of course, there’s the usual laundry list of “either” and “possibly” and “potentially” and “probably”, but who the fuck cares?
We’re neighbors with a black hole! Maybe! Sort of? That’s gotta be cool for you folks. I mean, my backyard is covered in dog shit, and my neighbors have to deal with me walking through our windows all day long covered in stains and merely boxer briefs.