Sunday, April 11, 2021
Home Technology New Look at First Black Hole Detected Shows It Is 50 Percent...

New Look at First Black Hole Detected Shows It Is 50 Percent Bigger Than Expected


A fresh examination has revealed new details about the first black hole ever detected – which was spotted in 1964 and became the subject of a friendly wager between renowned scientists – including that it is bigger than previously known.

Researchers said on Thursday that new observations of the Cygnus X-1 black hole, orbiting in a stellar marriage with a large and luminous star, showed it is 21 times our sun’s mass, about 50 percent more massive than previously believed.

While it is still one of the closest-known black holes, they found it is somewhat farther away than previously calculated, at 7,200 light years – the distance light travels in a year, 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km) – from Earth.

Black holes are extremely dense, with gravitational pulls so ferocious not even light escapes. Some – the “supermassive” black holes – are immense, like the one at our Milky Way galaxy’s centre 4 million times the sun’s mass. Smaller “stellar-mass” black holes possess the mass of a single star.

Cygnus X-1 is the Milky Way’s largest-known stellar-mass black hole and among the strongest X-ray sources seen from Earth, said astronomer James Miller-Jones of Curtin University and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Australia, who led the study published in the journal Science.

This black hole spins so rapidly, nearly light speed, that it approaches the maximum rate envisioned under physicist Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, Miller-Jones added.

It devours material blowing from the surface of the companion star it tightly orbits, a “blue supergiant” about 40 times our sun’s mass. It started its existence 4 million to 5 million years ago as a star up to 75 times the sun’s mass and collapsed into a black hole a few tens of thousands of years ago.

The research included data from the Very Long Baseline Array radio telescope comprising 10 US observation stations.

After Cygnus X-1 was first tabbed as a black hole, a wager was made between physicists Stephen Hawking, who bet against it being one, and Kip Thorne, who bet it was. Hawking eventually conceded, owing Thorne a Penthouse magazine subscription.

“Indeed, I did not have any wagers riding on these findings,” Miller-Jones said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


Is Samsung Galaxy S21+ the perfect flagship for most Indians? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Half of COVID Survivors Struggle With Depression

TUESDAY, March 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- To the lingering damage of COVID-19 infection, add this side effect: New research shows that more...

Babaà Giveaway (and Discount Code)

For years, we’ve been huge fans of Babaà, the Madrid-based knitwear line founded by a mother of three. The beautiful sweaters — for...

Adobe Updates Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic

Adobe has announced an update to both Lightroom Classic (to version 10.2) and Lightroom (to version 4.2 on desktop) with a few new...

Inside Alex Rodriguez’s Fight to Save Jennifer Lopez Relationship

Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez’s four-year relationship, E! reported over the weekend, was on its last legs amid breakup reports and later a...

READ THIS ALSO

Half of COVID Survivors Struggle With Depression

TUESDAY, March 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- To the lingering damage of COVID-19 infection, add this side effect: New research shows that more...

Babaà Giveaway (and Discount Code)

For years, we’ve been huge fans of Babaà, the Madrid-based knitwear line founded by a mother of three. The beautiful sweaters — for...

Adobe Updates Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic

Adobe has announced an update to both Lightroom Classic (to version 10.2) and Lightroom (to version 4.2 on desktop) with a few new...