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NASA telescope observes light near black holes

NASA telescope observes light near black holes

NASA's NuSTAR telescope has observed the relation of light and black holes like never before.

In a press release Tuesday, NASA revealed that the NuSTAR has been observing black holes and light emissions via X-ray for the last two years. The NuSTAR observed the effect of a supermassive black hole's gravity on nearby light emissions, and the results are stunning.

The NuSTAR focused its observation this year on Markarian 335, a black hole that recently became substantially brighter. The telescope found that Markarian 335 had absorbed the light of a corona that collapsed into the black hole.

Fiona Harrison, NuSTAR's main investigator, said in a statement that the telescope observed the corona "lighting up material around the black hole" and will help NASA study "the most extreme, light-bending effects" of Einstein's theory of relativity. The NuSTAR's findings could help NASA better understand black holes as well as coronas.

Below is an artist's rendering of a corona near a black hole. --Meghan DeMaria