Feeds

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

Flatulent fallen star farts supermassive-grade hurricane

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.