Astronomy Picture of the Day

GRO J1655-40: Evidence for a Spinning Black Hole

Bild Note: 0 (0 Votes)

⏴ previousBild Upload von 18.02.2016 21:43next ⏵
#61958 by @ 27.12.2004 00:00 - nach oben -
GRO J1655-40: Evidence for a Spinning Black Hole

In the center of a swirling whirlpool of hot gas
is likely a beast that has never been seen directly: a
black hole.

Studies of the bright light emitted by the
swirling gas frequently indicate not only that a
black hole is present, but also likely attributes.

The gas surrounding GRO J1655-40, for example, has been found to display an unusual flickering
at a rate of 450 times a second.

Given a
previous mass estimate for the central object of seven times the mass of our
Sun, the rate of the

fast flickering can be
explained by a black hole
that is rotating very rapidly.

What physical mechanisms actually cause the flickering -- and a slower quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) -- in
accretion disks surrounding
black holes and
neutron stars remains a topic of much research.

News: APOD editor to speak in January in New York

Credit & Copyright