10 things black holes are capable of

We have repeatedly written about the ability of black holesabsorb almost any matter of the universe. However, in recent years, science has been able to discover a whole arsenal of other various features of these objects. It turns out that they are not only able to move at almost light speed and show signs of real space maniacs, destroying and devouring everything in their path, but also demonstrate significantly more flexible behavior than we used to expect from them. Today we’ll talk about what else these objects are capable of.


  • 1 spin very fast
  • 2 Group
  • 3 Throwing matter the size of Jupiter (sometimes in our direction)
  • 4 Hide the galactic past
  • 5 Absorb matter at an incredible rate
  • 6 Wandering in space
  • 7 Stealing from larger relatives
  • 8 Use magnetic fields for food
  • 9 Lurking in tiny galaxies
  • 10 gobble up our sun in two days

Spin very fast

Scientists for the first time accurately measured the rotation speed of a supermassive black hole. It is amazing - 84 percent of the speed of light.

The black hole of the galaxy NGC 1365 located in60 million light-years struck researchers with its characteristics. Its diameter is 3.2 million kilometers, and the mass is approximately equal to several million solar masses.

When spinning, it literally bendsbehind itself not only space, but also time, creating a blazing whirlpool of x-rays, gas and dust falling into its bowels. All this matter, most likely, enters the black hole from one direction, which, according to scientists, gives it such an incredible speed of rotation.

Group together

The largest discovered by astronomersgalaxies are literally seeded with supermassive black holes. They are so huge that scientists doubt that single stars are their ancestors. Scientists have long suspected that supermassive black holes could arise in dense star clusters, consisting of groups of dying binary stars or groups of more compact black holes, which merge with each other over time, forming real supergiants.

Interestingly, the assumption finally foundreal confirmation. X-ray analysis of the center of the Milky Way showed that directly in the very center of our galaxy lies a very dense region, in which there can be up to 12 black holes rotating around the main central black hole of the Milky Way - Sagittarius A *.

In addition, the analysis showed that in total up to 20,000 black holes can be located in the central region of our galaxy.

Throw matter the size of Jupiter (sometimes in our direction)

Theoretical calculations and computerSimulations say that near the central black hole of our galaxy - Sagittarius A * - there can be a very massive star, which every 10 thousand years very closely approaches the hole, because of which the latter draws stellar matter from it, forming a long jet of red-hot matter. Part of this matter is devoured by the hole itself, the other is thrown into space. However, some of this matter remains at a sufficiently remote distance from the hole and is able to merge into a ball the size of a planet. But the most interesting thing is not even that.

These clubs of matter, in some cases the size ofour Neptune, and sometimes reaching the size of Jupiter, are thrown into galactic space at a speed of 3.2 - 32.2 million kilometers per hour. According to researchers, as a result of the tidal destruction of the star, about 100 million such bodies will be thrown into space. And, perhaps, some of them will be sent in our direction.

Hide galactic past

Complex of radio telescopes "Atakamskaya Bolshayamillimeter-wave antenna array ”(ALMA) allowed scientists to first look at the black hole scatter - an accumulation of dust and gas rotating around the“ mouth ”of the galactic monster and from the side resembling a donut.

The object of study is 47 millionlight years from us in the constellation of China. Thanks to the amazing power and sensitivity of ALMA, scientists even calculated its width. It is about 20 light years. By observing black hole tori, researchers can learn more about the past of galaxies. For example, the asymmetric shape of the torus may indicate that the galaxy could merge with another galaxy in a certain period of its history in the past.

Absorb matter at an incredible rate

A billion light-years away from usthe constellation Veronica Hair is a very bright galaxy PG211 + 143. The galaxy owes its brightness to a central black hole, which absorbs matter from outer space at an incredible speed of 100,000 kilometers per second.

Researchers found that X-raythe radiation of this galaxy shows a significant redshift, which can be explained by the movement of the matter of this galaxy straight towards the central supermassive black hole with a huge speed of about 30 percent of the speed of light. This gas almost does not rotate around the black hole, but moves directly to its center in a straight line, being at an incredibly close distance to the center of the black hole, amounting to only 20 sizes of the black hole.

Roam around space

Astronomers have long assumed that blackholes can sometimes be ejected from their galaxies. And a very serious proof of this assumption, as it turned out, is about 8 billion light years from us. It is the quasar 3C 186, which has a mass of one billion solar.

Scientists have found that quasar at full speedtends to leave its native galactic cluster. According to researchers, a quasar gas cloud is carried away at a speed of 7.6 million kilometers per hour. At this speed, for example, from the Earth to the Moon it will be possible to reach in just 3 minutes.

Astronomers believe that the reason for this "escape"are gravitational waves - the product of the merger of two supermassive black holes. As a result of this merger, they created a powerful shock wave, comparable in strength to the simultaneous explosion of 100 million supernovae, which literally pushed the quasar from its “occupied” place.

Stealing from larger relatives

At the moment, astronomers have not only confirmedfive events of the merger of black holes and the gravitational waves produced by them, but also highlighted one among them, which stands out against the general background. We are talking about the merger of two black holes, the mass of which, according to forecasts, was supposed to be 10-15 solar. In fact, it turned out that the mass of both black holes exceeds 20 solar masses.

After analyzing the collected data, scientists came tothe conclusion that both black holes gained weight due to the fact that they stole "food" from a significantly larger black hole, also located in the galactic center.

Before turning into black holes, these thievesconstituted two massive stars. During stellar evolution, they collapsed into black holes and began to be attracted to the galactic center, where there was already a supermassive black hole, absorbing the surrounding gas and dust. Two “crumbs” managed to steal part of the matter from the central black hole and gained almost three times as much mass from their original size before merging with each other.

Use magnetic fields for food

According to astronomers, one of the main factorsdetermining the mass of a black hole may be its magnetic field. Exploring the Swan A galaxy, located 600 million light-years from us, scientists discovered a very strong magnetic field in its galactic center.

Further analysis revealed that the black hole SwanAnd very active. Scientists believe that it is the most powerful extragalactic source of radio emission in its constellation, which is created as a result of absorption by the hole of matter surrounding it. And in this matter, the researchers say, its magnetic field takes an active part, which attracts matter to the torus of a black hole, and then to its very bowels.

According to astronomers, the difference between active galaxies, such as Swan A and inactive galaxies, such as our Milky Way, lies in the presence and absence of a magnetic field.

Lurking in tiny galaxies

In the Fornax Galaxy UCD3 in the constellation Oventhere are only 100 million stars. This is a real crumb compared to the same Milky Way, in which hundreds of billions of stars can be supposed to be. The radius of the Fornax UCD3 galaxy is only some 300 light years away. Despite its tiny size, the “ultra-compact dwarf” UCD3 is one of the densest galaxies in the universe.

At its center is a supermassive black holewith 3-5 million solar masses. It is almost as heavy as the black hole Sagittarius A * in the center of our Milky Way, whose diameter is about 150,000 light years.

UCD3 black hole detection turned out to bethe fourth case of the discovery of supermassive black holes inside ultra-compact galaxies. Astronomers estimate that the hole accounts for 4 percent of the total mass of the galaxy. As a rule, in any other cases, this proportion is only 0.3 percent.

Scientists suspect that before the UCD3 galaxy was even larger, however, the proximity to the larger galaxy deprived Fornax UCD3 of a large number of its stars, turning it into a dwarf.

Gobble up our sun in two days

Astronomers have discovered a surprisingly voraciousblack hole, born about 12 billion years ago. The quasar discovered every two days absorbs a mass equivalent to one solar mass. Due to this appetite, a black hole grows so fast that its radiation is thousands of times brighter than that of an entire galaxy. Radiation itself occurs due to the heating of matter and the gases that it absorbs.

Scientists have not yet figured out how the black hole from the "dark times" gained its mass so quickly, but they perfectly understand its potential.

If this monster was in the center of ourOf the Milky Way, then its brightness would be 10 times greater than the brightness of the full moon in the sky. The object would be so bright that it overshadowed the light of more stars in the sky, and would also kill us all with its x-ray radiation.

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