Astronomers have seen a black hole that is sending hot material into space at almost the speed of light.
It takes 10,000 light-years to get from a black hole to its partner star. When these two space objects meet, they form the MAXI J1820 + 070 system. NASA’s Chandra x-ray telescope saw the hot matter coming out of the black hole at almost the speed of light.
NASA’s Chandra Space Telescope took a video of a black hole throwing out hot matter into space at almost the speed of light.
Researchers say that the black hole in the MAXI J1820 + 070 system has about eight times the mass of the sun. This means that it is about the size of a star and was made when a massive star exploded. On the other hand, supermassive black holes are millions or billions of times as heavy as the sun.
The mass of the star that goes around the black hole with it is almost the same as that of the sun. Material from the companion star is pulled toward the black hole’s X-ray-making disc by the black hole’s strong gravity.
Material from the companion star is pulled toward the black hole’s X-ray-making disc by the black hole’s strong gravity.
Some of the hot gas in the disc will reach the “event horizon” and fall into the black hole, while some will be shot out of the black hole in a series of short jets. From beyond the event horizon, these jets shoot off along magnetic field lines and in different directions.
The four observations made by Chandra in November 2018 and February, May, and June 2019 gave a new picture of what was going on with the black hole. Mathilde Espinasse of the University of Paris found it in a study and wrote about it in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The NASA video below shows what was found by the telescope.
The images show a large optical and infrared view of the Milky Way galaxy taken by Hawaii’s PanSTARRS optical telescope. A cross on the plane of the galaxy shows where MAXI J1820 + 070 is. The video’s inset shows Chandra’s four observations, with “day 0” corresponding to the first observation on November 13, 2018, about four months after the jet was launched.
MAXI J1820 + 070 is the bright X-ray source in the middle of the picture, and jets of X-rays can be seen moving north and south away from the black hole. MAXI J1820 + 070 is an X-ray point source, but it looks bigger than a point source because of how bright it is. In May and June of 2019, it will be too hard to see the southern jet.
How fast do the material jets leave the black hole because of this? From Earth’s point of view, it looks like the northern jet is moving at 60% the speed of light and the southern jet is moving at 1600% the speed of light, which sounds crazy. Light is the only thing that can move faster than anything else.
This is an example of superluminal motion, which is when an object moves toward us at almost the speed of light and in the same direction as our line of sight. This means that the object is coming toward us almost as fast as the light it gives off. This makes it seem like the jet is flying faster than the speed of light.
The south jet of the MAXI J1820 + 070 is moving toward us, while the north jet is moving away from us. This shows that the south jet is moving faster than the north jet. Chandra says that this kind of fast X-ray ejection from a black hole with the mass of a star has only been seen twice before.