An international team of astronomers has proved the existence of a ‘gravitational vortex’ around a black hole, solving a mystery that has eluded astronomers for more than 30 years. The discovery will allow astronomers to map the behaviour of matter very close to black holes. It could also open the door to future investigation of Albert Einstein’s general relativity.
With its very first – and last – observation, the Hitomi x-ray observatory has discovered that the gas in the Perseus cluster of galaxies is much less turbulent than expected, despite being home to NGC 1275, a highly energetic active galaxy.
Black holes are the most powerful gravitational force in the Universe. So what could cause them to be kicked out of their host galaxies? Cambridge researchers have developed a method for detecting elusive ‘black hole kicks.’
Astronomers have observed two black holes in nearby galaxies devouring their companion stars at an extremely high rate, and spitting out matter at a quarter the speed of light.
The Gaia satellite has discovered a unique binary system where one star is ‘eating’ the other, but neither star has any hydrogen, the most common element in the Universe. The system could be an important tool for understanding how binary stars might explode at the end of their lives.