This Is the Last Thing Japan's Lost Black Hole Satellite Saw Before It Died


In February 2016, Japan launched a pioneering black-hole-monitoring satellite but after the successful launch they lost its control under strange circumstances. Now, we can finally witness what Hitomi saw right before it went offline. When Hitomi went offline, researchers were succesful in gathering some data from Hitomi, which was published in a new research paper in Nature, which displays Hitomi’s last observation. It has some interesting implications for what we currently know about the role of black holes in galaxy formation.

Hitomi’s last observations were of the Perseus Cluster, a massive galaxy cluster 240 million light years containing a supermassive black hole at its center. Hitomi was able to capture this amazing view of the galaxy (shown above), as well as to extent its x-ray activity. Scientists were expecting to observe teeming activity in the center of the cluster, but Hitomi’s last x-ray observations displayed very little action.

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