WASHINGTON – Well, this could ruin your whole Monday: A black hole that had gone dormant in 1989 has reawakened, the European Space Agency says.
The ESA says they’ve started detecting “an exceptional outburst of high-energy light” from the black hole in the Cygnus constellation, which, CNET reports, means it’s come back to life.
“The behavior of this source is extraordinary at the moment, with repeated bright flashes of light on time scales shorter than an hour, something rarely seen in other black-hole systems,” says ESA astronomer Erik Kuulkers.
Kuulkers, who clearly hasn’t watched enough science-fiction movies, calls the fact that a black hole, which devours all matter in its path, is back in business “a ‘once in a lifetime’ professional opportunity.”
He explains that in 1989, most of his colleagues weren’t professional astronomers yet, and that the instruments of the time can’t hold a candle to today’s gear. Now, he says, “The community couldn’t be more thrilled.”