A black hole that is ejecting hot material into space at almost the speed of light has been seen by astronomers.
The distance between a black hole and its partner star is 10,000 light-years. The MAXI J1820 + 070 system is created when these two cosmic objects come together. The hot material was observed by NASA’s Chandra x-ray telescope exiting the black hole at almost the speed of light.
The Chandra Space Telescope of NASA captured video of a black hole ejecting hot material into space at nearly the speed of light.
According to the researchers, the black hole in the MAXI J1820 + 070 system has a mass around eight times that of the sun, indicating that it is a stellar-sized black hole formed by the collapse of a massive star. Supermassive black holes, on the other hand, have millions or billions of times the mass of the sun.
The companion star orbiting the black hole has almost the same mass as the sun. The immense gravity of the black hole drags the companion star’s material toward the black hole’s X-ray-producing disc.
The immense gravity of the black hole drags the companion star’s material toward the black hole’s X-ray-producing disc.
While some of the heated gas in the disc will reach the “event horizon” and fall into the black hole, some will be ejected in a number of brief beams of jets from the black hole. These jets are released along magnetic field lines from beyond the event horizon and aim in opposite directions.
Chandra’s four observations in November 2018 and February, May, and June 2019 offered a new picture of the black hole’s activities. It was discovered in The Astrophysical Journal Letters by Mathilde Espinasse of the University of Paris in a study.
The video below from NASA shows what the telescope discovered.
The images show a massive optical and infrared view of the Milky Way galaxy captured by Hawaii’s PanSTARRS optical telescope, with MAXI J1820 + 070 indicated by a cross on the plane of the galaxy. The video inset illustrates Chandra’s four observations, with “day 0” matching to the first observation on November 13, 2018, about four months after the jet was launched.
The bright X-ray source in the image’s center is MAXI J1820 + 070, and X-ray sources can be observed moving north and south in jets away from the black hole. MAXI J1820 + 070 is an X-ray point source, yet its brightness makes it appear larger than a point source. The southern jet is too faint to be identified in May and June 2019 measurements.
As a result, how fast are the material jets departing the black hole? From Earth’s perspective, the northern jet appears to be traveling at 60% the speed of light, while the southern jet appears to be traveling at 1600% the speed of light, which sounds preposterous. After all, nothing can move faster than the speed of light.
This is an example of superluminal motion, which occurs when an object approaches us at almost the speed of light and in a direction parallel to our line of sight. This means that the item approaches us nearly as quickly as the light it emits, giving the impression that the jet is flying faster than the speed of light.
The MAXI J1820 + 070’s south jet is heading in our direction while the north jet is facing away, indicating that the south is travelling more quickly than the north. Only two previous instances of such fast X-ray ejections from stellar-mass black holes, according to Chandra, have been documented.