Astronomers say black holes can be spotted using home-use telescope

Astronomers Say Black Holes Can Be Spotted Using Home-Use Telescope

Black holes can be seen via basic home-use telescopes, according to a study led by Kyoto University reserachers in Japan.

Publishing in the journal Nature, astronomers say such visible evidence provides observational data comparably reliable to that gathered via X-rays.

Lead author Mariko Kimura, notes, "We now know that we can make observations based on optical rays — visible light, in other words — and that black holes can be observed without high-spec X-ray or gamma-ray telescopes."

A summary of the findings explains, "Once in several decades, some black hole binaries undergo 'outbursts,' in which enormous amounts of energy — including X-rays — are emitted from substances that fall into the black hole."

By focusing on the twinkling light emanating from gases surrounding the black holes during outbursts, visible light provides direct information about black hole activity, according to the research team.

And, on June 15th, 2015, when the near-Earth black hole V404 Cygni began to undergo an outburst, astronomers did exactly that—gathering massive amounts of data from visible light alone.

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