NASA’s Chandra spots incredible ultraluminous X-ray source 3000 times brighter than it was a decade ago
The discovery, made at the Chandra X-ray observatory, sheds new light on a mysterious set of black holes which can produce as much energy through X-rays as a million suns could radiate at all wavelengths.
The massive ULX was found within the M83 spiral galaxy and its X-ray output indicates it is larger than many of the black holes identified in our galaxy.
Despite many ULX’s being accompanied by young stars, recent discoveries (of another ULX in the Andromeda galaxy) suggest that these black holes can be much older than their “living” counterparts. This is contrary to their youthful status with which they were previously labelled.
With these two discoveries, a heterogeneous population of ULX’s has been proposed, made up of both old and volatile ULX’s as well as some, which like the M83 ULX, are young and persistently growing.