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Artist’s impression of stellar-mass black hole
- Title Artist’s impression of stellar-mass black hole
- Released 04/01/2007 9:10 am
- Copyright ESA, NASA and Felix Mirabel
Black holes are, by definition, invisible. But the region around them can flare up periodically when the black hole feeds. As gas falls into a black hole, it will heat to high temperatures and radiate brightly, particularly in X-rays.
Thanks to ESA’s XMM-Newton data, astronomers found one stellar-mass black hole by chance feeding in a globular star cluster in a galaxy named NGC 4472 (or M49), about fifty million light-years away in the Virgo Cluster.