In this illustration of a newly discovered black hole named MAXI J1820+070, a black hole pulls material off a neighboring star and into an accretion disk. Above the disk is a region of subatomic particles called the corona. Image: Aurore Simonnet and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA’s NICER mission maps ‘light echoes’ of new black hole - space short science news

Scientists have charted the environment surrounding a stellar-mass black hole that is 10 times the mass of the Sun using NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) payload aboard the International Space Station.

NICER detected X-ray light from the recently discovered black hole, called MAXI J1820+070 (J1820 for short), as it consumed material from a companion star. Waves of X-rays formed “light echoes” that reflected off the swirling gas near the black hole and revealed changes in the environment’s size and shape.

These observations give scientists new insights into how material funnels in to the black hole and how energy is released in this process.

Read the full story: NASA
Scientific publication: Nature