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Event Horizon Telescope spots source of black hole jets

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by micropage7, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. micropage7

    micropage7

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    A set of linked radio-telescopes across Hawaii, Arizona and California has given scientists a close-up of the accretion disk of a distant supermassive black hole

    The linked dishes, dubbed the Event Horizon Telescope, grabbed the fine details of a supermassive black hole in the M87 galaxy, some 50 million light-years distant, with a mass estimated at 6 billion times that of the Sun.

    Their analysis, published in Science (abstract), is based on analyzing the accretion disk surrounding the M87 black hole. The accretion disk, spinning at close to light-speed, is also the source of the jets of matter that typify black hole observations.

    The scientists say their observation shows that the accretion disk is just 5.5 times the event horizon of M87 – a size which almost certainly means the M87 black hole is spinning, having received its orbital momentum from the accretion disk.

    Were the black hole not spinning, the accretion disk would have to be 7.4 times the Schwartzchild radius, while if the two were spinning in opposite directions, the disk would have to be even larger – more than nine times the event horizon.

    MIT researcher Shep Doelman said the observation helps provide confirmation of general relativity in the extreme environments near a black hole. The group, led by MIT’s Haystack Observatory, hopes to scale up in the future by adding dishes in Chile, Europe, Mexico, Greenland and Antarctica

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/09/28/black_hole_m87_is_spinning/
  2. HammerON

    HammerON The Watchful Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw this and thought of one of the most disturbing movies that I have seen:
    Event Horizon:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119081/
    Miller: Oh. My. God. What happened to your eyes?
    Dr. Weir: Where we're going, we won't need eyes to see.
    Miller: What are you talking about?
    Dr. Weir: I created the Event Horizon to reach the stars, but she's gone much, much farther than that. She tore a hole in our universe, a gateway to another dimension. A dimension of pure chaos. Pure... evil. When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was alive! Look at her, Miller. Isn't she beautiful?
    Miller: Your "beautiful" ship killed its crew, Doctor.
    Dr. Weir: Well... now she has another crew. Now she has us.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Interesting find there. I can't imagine anything spinning near light speed, wow.

    @HammerON

    Horror movies don't normally get to me, but I couldn't sleep with the light off for two nights after I watched that movie! I've never seen it again, either.

    It was that encroaching darkness especially that made it really scary for me.
    HammerON says thanks.

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