An international team of researchers, led by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and NASA, has just discovered in the binary system 4U 1630-47 a black hole that rotates almost to the maximum speed allowed by Einstein's theory of general relativity. So fast, that the object will force the surrounding space to rotate next to it. According to the scientists, who used the Indian astrostat satellite and the NASA X-ray observatory, and their work will soon be published in the Astrophysical Journal, learning black holes with high rotation speeds is of utmost importance to put our theories on the universe, including relativity itself, in check. It all began in 2016, when AstroSat discovered a black hole in a binary system (two star objects orbiting each other) 4U 1630-47. From the first moment, a series of violent outbursts in the range of x-rays drew the attention of the researchers. Shortly thereafter, the Observatory Chandra confirmed the results and it turned out that a particular black hole is not like the others.
Emission of black hole x-rays occurs when the surrounding material (mainly gas and dust) is precipitated and "preyed" by it. These emissions allowed the researchers to understand that the black hole in question, whose capsule was ten times greater than our sun, was spinning at a dizzying speed. The rotation rate of a black hole can oscillate between two values, 0 and 1. And the black hole of 4U 1630-47 showed a rotation rate of 0.9, which is almost equal to the speed of light. A fact that left the researchers wide open, for Einstein's theory suggests that if a black hole can turn so fast, it can turn the space itself around. So far, out of the twenty known holes in our galaxy, the rate of rotation of four others has been measured. And the 4U 1630-47 system is by far the fastest. Scientists believe that if what we know about true black holes, the combination of factors such as rotation velocity, interest in them and high temperatures can be the key to understanding how galaxies form.
How do you know how fast they spin?
The mass and rotation velocity are two main characteristics of black hole properties. But while the dough can be Easily calculate, thanks to the seriousness that creates, discover the turnover rate is something much more complicated. In the words of Mayukt Pahari, lead author of the study, "Rotational speed measurements are very difficult to perform, and it is only possible to perform them using very high-quality x-ray observations of a binary star system, in that the black hole absorbs material from its companion planet." If the calculations are correct, the black hole of the 4U 1630-47 binary system could be the key to finding out how these unusual objects affect the space itself. Revealing, in passing, the unknown process that led to the formation of galaxies.
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