Thursday, January 9, 2014

Black Hole Flare in Abell 1795

Abell 1795: A bright flare seen with Chandra provides evidence for a black hole having torn a star apart.

A bright, long duration flare may be the first recorded event of a black hole destroying a star in a dwarf galaxy. The dwarf galaxy is located in the galaxy cluster Abell 1795, about 800 million light years from Earth. A composite image of the cluster shows Chandra data in blue and optical data from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in red, green and blue. An inset centered on the dwarf galaxy shows Chandra data taken between before and after 2005. The X-ray flare provides evidence that a large black hole has pulled in debris from a star that was torn apart by tidal forces.

Scale: Image is 6.8 arcmin on a side (about 1.5 million light years).

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Alabama/W.P.Maksym et al & NASA/CXC/GSFC/UMD/D.Donato, etal; Optical: CFHT

Note: For more information, see Abell 1795: Death By Black Hole In Small Galaxy?

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