Scientists Find Evidence Of Black Hole Spinning For The First Time

By Haider Ali in Science and Technology On 6th October 2023

More bad news about what's harmful in space: a black hole is spinning!

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Astronomers' recent discovery of evidence that implies a black hole is spinning up in space has helped to support Einstein's theory of relativity. If Einstein knew this, he would be punching his fist in the air right now.

It took researchers studying energy jets emitted from a black hole near the Messier 87 galaxy, discovered by Charles Messier in 1781, 55 million light-years away, to gather the data necessary to support the idea.

It has now been proven that the black hole's rotation, which was originally observed by humans, is what actually causes the jets.

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Dr. Kazuhiro Hada, astronomer of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and study co-author, discussed this "exciting" discovery as follows: “After the success of black hole imaging in this galaxy with the EHT, whether this black hole is spinning or not has been a central concern among scientists.”

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“Now anticipation has turned into certainty. This monster black hole is indeed spinning.”

Lead author of the study and astronomer at Zhejiang Lab in Hangzhou, China, Cui Yuzhu said: "We are thrilled by this significant finding."

He attributes the discovery, which was made after monitoring data from 2000 to 2022, to having a lot of analytics to compare the black hole's structure to and its development.

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He explained: “Since the misalignment between the black hole and the disk is relatively small and the precession (wobbling) period is around 11 years, accumulating high-resolution data tracing M87's structure over two decades and thorough analysis are essential to obtain this achievement.”

Image credit: EHT Collaboration

These findings, which were made and reported in Nature, are in line with the general relativity theory, which Einstein developed in 1905 and 1915, respectively.

This theory aims to comprehend the laws guiding how things move and interact as well as how the curvature of space and time affects our sense of movement.

Isn't it a mouthful?

But if you want to understand it without having to be a scientist, just watch The Big Bang Theory. You'll learn some basic science while having fun.

In any case, black holes are difficult to understand even in the best of circumstances since they are essentially the space equivalent of hoovers, sucking in gas and dust by their powerful gravitational attraction.

Nothing, not even light, can escape their hunger since their pull is so strong that it has been speculated that it is what galaxies' stars are thought to navigate around.

However, how do they come into being?

Nobody is truly certain.

Though it hasn't been proven, some speculate that they are the result of massive gas clouds collapsing into black holes, which are 100,000 times larger than the Sun.

The only thing that is known for certain is that a black hole is surrounded by an accretion disc of gas and dust that swirls just on the black hole's event horizon and is subsequently sucked back up or ejected at an insane force — 99.99 percent of the speed of light, to be precise.

Researchers are now hopeful that their discovery can help clarify the origin and evolution of black holes after demonstrating their theory to be right.