the Black hole Would be a genus in the animal Kingdom, you would characterize as patient as merciless hunters. And as the very movement lazy.

Deep in the heart of most galaxies before sleeping, it usually takes a few hundred thousand years, until a black hole strikes a new victim to attack: him a star too close, he will be torn from the gigantic gravity in pieces, and, finally, devoured.

the assimilated matter that lights up glistening before it is swallowed. And from the observation of this cosmic meal quite a bit about the properties of the heavy weights to learn. Now, researchers have presented new results.

Black holes can not be directly

Black holes are observed are among the most mysterious objects in the cosmos. You can unite the mass of millions or even billions of suns, and their extreme provides gravity that not even light can escape. In this circumstance, the gravity monsters owe their name, and he is also the reason why telescopes are not directly observed. It is the Black holes gobble up foreign stars except.

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published tear such A “tide-Star event” (tidal disruption event) has registered a telescope system in November 2014, 290 million light-years away in the galaxy. A light – year is the distance light travels in one year-about 9.5 trillion kilometers. The star had been torn apart by the strong tidal forces of the Black hole, Whose gravity pulls on the near side of the star stronger than the distant and rips apart the star.

Several observatories have tracked the cosmic Drama. From the observations of a group of Dheeraj Pasham from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mit) has determined the self-rotation of the Black hole, the so-called Spin. This Spin is in addition to the mass, from the effect of gravity on other celestial bodies to derive the most important property of Black holes, which, however, is not easy to determine.


“It is very difficult, the Spin of a Black hole limit, as the Spin effects occur only very close to the hole itself, where the gravity is extremely strong and it is difficult to get a clear view,” explains Pasham, in a communication to the European space Agency Esa. The x-ray satellite “XMM-Newton” had taken the event to the visor. The results of their investigations were presented by the researchers in the journal Science.

millions of degrees-hot matter, x-ray radiation

not emitted, The matter of the torn star collapses directly into a Black hole, but collects in a kind of whirlpool, of the so-called accretion disk, before it is finally swallowed. On this disc, the matter is millions of degrees hot and bright x-ray radiation. From the observation of the accretion disk, the Spin should determine, portrays Pasham, the adoption of the researchers. “Observations of such events, however, were not sensitive enough to the Region to investigate strong gravity in Detail – until now.”

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From the rhythm of the x-ray pulses were derived by the researchers, how fast the Black hole. Result: The rotation must be at least 50 percent of the speed of light.

“That’s not super fast – there are other Black holes whose Spin is estimated to be close to 99 percent of the speed of light,” explains Pasham. It was the first Time the researchers the Tear of a star for their spinning-were able to use calculations, Pasham.

findings about the evolution of galaxies

The study demonstrates a new method to determine the Spin of supermassive Black holes. The Spins of several Black holes from the dawn of time to today estimate, could help in the future, such as in the investigation of the question of whether there is a connection between age and Spin of a Black hole, to explain to you.

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“events in which Black holes star tear, come close to them, could help us to map the Spins of several Black holes, which are not hidden, active and otherwise, in the centers of galaxies,” explains Pasham. “That could understand us, ultimately, help to, how galaxies have evolved over cosmic time.”

Till Mundzeck/dpa/stu