Scientists find evidence of black hole spinning for the first time
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In more ugh, 'what’s dangerous up in space’ news: there’s a spinning black hole!
Einstein would be fist punching the air right now if he knew that astronomers have just helped to reinforce his theory of relativity after discovering evidence that suggests a black hole is spinning up in space.
The evidence to prove the theory was collected after scientists studied jets of energy that were beamed from a black hole near Messier 87 galaxy, which was discovered by Charles Messier in 1781, 55 million light-years away.
This black hole was first to ever be imaged by humankind and now it has been proven that the jets are in fact caused by its rotating movement.
Speaking about this ‘exciting’ discovery, Dr Kazuhiro Hada, co-author of the study and astronomer at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan said: “After the success of black hole imaging in this galaxy with the EHT, whether this black hole is spinning or not has been a central concern among scientists.”
“Now anticipation has turned into certainty. This monster black hole is indeed spinning.”
Astronomer at Zhejiang Lab in Hangzhou, China and lead author of the study, Cui Yuzhu added: “We are thrilled by this significant finding.”
After tracking data between 2000-2022, he credits the finding to having a large amount of analytics to compare the structure of the black hole to and its progression.
He explained: “Since the misalignment between the black hole and the disk is relatively small and the precession (wobbling) period is around 11 years, accumulating high-resolution data tracing M87's structure over two decades and thorough analysis are essential to obtain this achievement.”
These results that have been made and published to Nature, are consistent with the theory of general relativity which was coined by Einstein in 1905 and 1915 respectively.
This theory seeks to understand the rules governing the way things move and interact and the perception of movement due to the curvature of space and time.
It’s a mouthful, isn’t it?
In any terms, black holes are tricky things to figure out at the best of times as they are essentially the hoovers of the space world, sucking in dust and gas through their intense gravitational pull.
Their pull is so strong that it has been thought to be what stars in galaxies orbit around and nothing can escape their hunger, not even light.
But how do they come to existence?
No one really knows for sure.
There are some that believe they form due to large clouds of gas (100,000 times bigger than the Sun) collapsing into a black hole, though it hasn’t been confirmed.
All that’s known for sure is that a black hole is surrounded by an accretion disc of gas and dust that swirls right on the edge of the black hole's event horizon, which is then swallowed back up or ejected at a crazy force - 99.99 per cent of the speed of light to be exact.
After proving their theory correct, researchers are now hoping that their discovery can help shed light on black hole formations and evolutions.