A Distant Black Hole has Spin Rate Half of Speed of Light: Study
A supermassive black hole is spinning at roughly half the speed of light, revealed a research on Wednesday in the journal nature. The black hole is inside a distant quasar some six billion light years away from our planet. It has not happened for the first time when researchers have measured the spin of black hole. The current black hole is very far from our planet.
Spinning at about 336 million mph inside quasar RX J1131-1231, the black hole has sparked the belief that it is feeding steadily on shredded neighbor galaxies, said Mark Reynolds, an astronomer with the University of Michigan.
A black hole is a region that has such a string gravitational pull that even light cannot escape from it, but scientists are able to figure out their existence as they encounter and feed their cosmic neighbors.
The spin of a black hole is measured based on the amount of material available for the black hole to consume. The spin rate is relatively faster for a black hole that has a steady supply of gas from nearby merging galaxies than those that have sporadic supply because of fewer galaxies available in near surroundings.
Reynolds said their calculations revealed that the supermassive black hole regularly feeds on the equivalent of about 330,000 earths every year.
"The ability to measure black hole spins over a large range of cosmic time should make it possible to directly study whether or not the black hole evolves in step with its host galaxy", Rubens Reis, also an astronomer with University of Michigan, said in a statement.
The present study measured the amount of light that was reflected by the matter orbiting very quickly near a quasar, which is 200 times more massive than the sun.
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