Feeds

NASA sniffs little black hole's 20-million-MPH wind

Flatulent fallen star farts supermassive-grade hurricane

Application security programs and practises

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has caught a whiff of the fastest ever wind blowing from the gases around a stellar-mass black hole.

High speed winds from a stellar-mass black hole

Illustration of high-speed winds from the stellar-mass black hole. Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

The wind, which is moving at an awesome 20 million miles per hour, is nearly ten times faster than what's been previously detected from a hole of this size, and a space hurricane of this magnitude is more usually found blowing around a supermassive black hole.

Stellar-mass black holes are created by the collapse of pretty huge stars and typically weigh between five and ten times the mass of our sun. But supermassive holes are millions or billions of times bigger.

"This is like the cosmic equivalent of winds from a category-five hurricane," said Ashley King of the University of Michigan, lead author of the study. "We weren't expecting to see such powerful winds from a black hole like this."

Black holes like this one, catchily called IGR J17091-3624, pull in material from a companion star to form a disk of hot gas around it, and the wind is driven off this disk in all directions.

The high-speed wind blowing around this black hole is also carrying away more debris than the hole is sucking in.

"Contrary to the popular perception of black holes pulling in all of the material that gets close, we estimate up to 95 percent of the matter in the disk around IGR J17091-3624 is expelled by the wind," King said.

IGR J17091-3624 is found in the bulge of the Milky Way galaxy, about 28,000 light years away from Earth.

The research on the observations from Chandra and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Expanded Very Large Array was published in the 20 February issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.