A Nasa illustration of a supermassive black hole. Before the V404 Cygni observations, similar outbursts had only been seen as intense flashes of x-rays and gamma-rays, using high-spec telescopes. Photograph: Nasa/Reuters
The Guardian: Visible light from black holes detected for first time
Scientists observing V404 Cygni discovered that even amateur telescopes are capable of capturing violent outburst from black holes closest to Earth.
Astronomers have discovered that black holes can be observed through a simple optical telescope when material from surrounding space falls into them and releases violent bursts of light.
The apparent contradiction emerges when a black hole’s gravity pulls in matter from nearby stars, producing light that can be viewed from a modest 20cm telescope.
Japanese researchers detected light waves from V404 Cygni - an active black hole in the constellation of Cygnus, the Swan - when it awoke from a 26-year-long slumber in June 2015.
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CSN Editor: More proof that black holes do exist.