A new black hole discovered by Russian astronomers has been dedicated to the late British scientist Stephen Hawking, who devoted his entire life to studying the universe.
The newborn black hole, which lies in the Ophiuchus constellation, was spotted two days after Hawking’s demise after scientists from the Moscow State University observed a “gamma-ray burst” in the constellation.
The burst was caused by the collapse of a star that, in turn, led to the formation of a black hole in its place. In gamma-ray astronomy, gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are extremely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies. They are the brightest electromagnetic events known to occur in the universe.
While gamma-ray bursts are a frequent occurrence and can be observed on almost a daily basis, it is nearly impossible to refocus a telescope to capture the release of energy, which may last anywhere from milliseconds to tens of seconds.