NASA telescope spots ‘cosmic fireworks’ and faint echos from the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole

Estimated read time 24 min read

Astronomers have spotted flares and echos coming from the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). These “cosmic fireworks” and X-ray echoes could help scientists better understand the dark and quiet cosmic titan around which our galaxy orbits. 

The team of Michigan State University researchers made the groundbreaking discovery while combing through decades of data from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) telescope. Nine large flares the team discovered coming from Sgr A* had been caught by NuSTAR, which has been observing the cosmos in X-rays since July 2012. These signals had previously been missed by astronomers. 

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