Our galaxy’s black hole spins fast and drags space-time with it, scientists say | CNN

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The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, is spinning rapidly and changing the spacetime around it, new research has found.

Space-time is a four-dimensional continuum that defines how we perceive space, combining one-dimensional time and three-dimensional space to represent the fabric of space as it bends in response to massive celestial bodies.

A group of physicists observed a black hole 26,000 light years from Earthwith NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory, a telescope designed to detect X-ray emissions from regions of the universe. By looking at radio waves and X-ray emissions, they calculated the rotation speed of Sagittarius A*, otherwise known as the accretion disk, which can be found in the material and gas surrounding black holes. to the The study Published October 21 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The researchers confirmed that the black hole is rotating, which is known as the lens-twisting effect. Also known as frame drag, the lensing effect occurs when a black hole drags and rotates space-time. Lead study author Ruth Daly said.Designed by a physics professor at Penn State University Exit method Ten years ago.

Daly has been working to determine the spin of various black holes since the discovery of the outflow method 2019 study It has explored more than 750 supermassive black holes.

“With this rotation, Sagittarius A* will dramatically change the shape of the spacetime around it,” Daley said. “We’re used to thinking and living in a world where all the dimensions of space are equal – the distance to the ceiling and the distance from the wall and the distance from the floor… they’re all kind of linear, not like one is completely distorted compared to the others.

“But if you have a rapidly spinning black hole, the spacetime around it is not symmetrical – the spinning black hole is pulling all the space-time around it… it spins the space-time and it looks like a football,” she said.

The space-time shift is nothing to worry about, but shedding light on this phenomenon could be very useful for astronomers, Daly says.

“It’s an excellent tool for understanding the role black holes play in galaxy formation and evolution,” she said. “The fact that they are rotating dynamic bodies … and that can affect the galaxy in which they sit – it’s very interesting and very interesting.”

The spin of a black hole is given a value from 0 to 1, where 0 means the black hole does not spin, and 1 is the maximum spin value. Previously, there was no consensus on the value of the Sagittarius A* rotation, Daly said.

According to the exit method, which is the only method that uses data from both the outflow and the material around the black hole, Sagittarius A* was found to have spin angular momentum values ​​between 0.84 and 0.96. M87* – In the black hole Virgo Galaxy Cluster It is found to orbit 55 million light-years from Earth at a value of 1 (plus or minus 0.2) and is close to its maximum mass.

While the team found that the two black holes are rotating at the same rate, M87* is much more massive than Sagittarius A*, Daly said, so Sagittarius A* has less distance to cover and rotates more times per rotation than M87*.

“Sagittarius A* is spinning so fast, not because it has a (comparatively) high spin angular momentum, but because it has less distance to travel once it spins,” Daly explained.

Black holes and galactic history

Knowing the mass and spin of a black hole can help astronomers understand how a black hole might form and evolve, Daly says.

Black holes formed due to the merger of smaller black holes usually see a lower spin value. said Dejan Stojkovic, a cosmology professor at the University at Buffalo who was not involved in the study. But the black hole formed by the surrounding gas will have a higher spin value.

He says that Sagittarius A*’s rate of rotation is due to accretion of the black hole’s mass.

“The question of whether or not our central galactic black hole rotates, or how fast it rotates, is very important,” Stojkovic said in an email.

“Ultimately, we want to measure the properties of our galaxy’s center as well as possible. That way we can learn about the history and structure of our galaxy, test theories, or even imagine if there are some really interesting and interesting things like wormholes,” added Stojković, the author of the book. 2019 study On speculative structures.

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