After watching a nearby star that exploded into a supernova in 1979, astronomers now believe the star's death wasn't an ordinary one. The star's explosion was big enough to cause a black hole to develop in its wake. They think it's a black hole because they see something steadily consuming the gassy remnants of the exploded star, which is a telltale sign of a black hole. It sucks up everything in sight.
And in this case it's a lot. In the past 30 years since this star exploded, this baby black hole has eaten about the equivalent of the Earth in mass, which is about as big as black hole appetites can get, said Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb. He's co-author of a new paper in the journal New Astronomy and he discussed the findings at a NASA news conference Monday.