Chandra finds fastest wind from stellar-mass black hole

Feb 21, 2012
This artist's impression shows a binary system containing a stellar-mass black hole known as IGR J17091 for short. Observations with Chandra have clocked the fastest wind ever seen blowing off a disk around this stellar-mass black hole at about 20 million miles per hour. The wind, which comes from a disk of gas surrounding the black hole, may be carrying away much more material than the black hole is capturing and could be variable over time. This result has important implications for understanding how this class of black hole, which typically weighs between 5 and 10 solar masses, can behave. Credit: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have clocked the fastest wind yet discovered blowing off a disk around a stellar-mass black hole. This result has important implications for understanding how this type of black hole behaves.

The record-breaking is moving about 20 million mph, or about 3 percent of the speed of light. This is nearly 10 times faster than had ever been seen from a stellar-mass black hole.

Stellar-mass black holes are born when extremely collapse. They typically weigh between five and 10 times the . The stellar-mass black hole powering this super wind is known as IGR J17091-3624, or IGR J17091 for short.

"This is like the cosmic equivalent of winds from a category five hurricane," said Ashley King from the University of Michigan, lead author of the study published in the Feb. 20 issue of The . "We weren't expecting to see such powerful winds from a black hole like this."

The in IGR J17091 matches some of the fastest winds generated by , objects millions or billions of times more massive.

"It's a surprise this small black hole is able to muster the wind speeds we typically only see in the giant black holes," said co-author Jon M. Miller, also from the University of Michigan. "In other words, this black hole is performing well above its weight class."

Another unanticipated finding is that the wind, which comes from a disk of gas surrounding the black hole, may be carrying away more material than the black hole is capturing.

"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 is expelled by the wind," King said.

Unlike winds from hurricanes on Earth, the wind from IGR J17091 is blowing in many different directions. This pattern also distinguishes it from a jet, where material flows in highly focused beams perpendicular to the disk, often at nearly the .

Simultaneous observations made with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Expanded Very Large Array showed a radio jet from the black hole was not present when the ultra-fast wind was seen, although a radio jet is seen at other times. This agrees with observations of other stellar-mass black holes, providing further evidence the production of winds can stifle jets.

The high speed for the wind was estimated from a spectrum made by Chandra in 2011. Ions emit and absorb distinct features in spectra, which allow scientists to monitor them and their behavior. A Chandra spectrum of iron ions made two months earlier showed no evidence of the high-speed wind, meaning the wind likely turns on and off over time.

Astronomers believe that magnetic fields in the disks of are responsible for producing both winds and jets. The geometry of the magnetic fields and rate at which material falls towards the black hole must influence whether jets or winds are produced.

IGR J17091 is a binary system in which a sun-like star orbits the black hole. It is found in the bulge of the Milky Way galaxy, about 28,000 light years away from Earth.

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Tuxford
1.3 / 5 (15) Feb 21, 2012
In LaViolette's cosmology, matter is ejected from massive and variable-stability stars, just as observed here. Accretion is discounted as means of supply of gas. Where does the source of gas come from, if not from within the core of the star? Newly formed matter - from the underlying etheric realm - grows the core star from within until it becomes unstable and ejects much of the material in this massive unfocused wind?
Deathclock
4 / 5 (21) Feb 21, 2012
In LaViolette's cosmology, matter is ejected from massive and variable-stability stars, just as observed here. Accretion is discounted as means of supply of gas. Where does the source of gas come from, if not from within the core of the star? Newly formed matter - from the underlying etheric realm - grows the core star from within until it becomes unstable and ejects much of the material in this massive unfocused wind?


It could come straight from my asshole for how much evidence there is in favor of either hypothesis...
jsdarkdestruction
4.3 / 5 (12) Feb 21, 2012
in laviolettes cosmology the stars in the night hold a secret coded message from et's from a far away planet that are responsible for humanity being what it is today too and that the public is being decieved about it in a worldwide conspiracy. you always seem to forget that part tuxford.
Tuxford
1.6 / 5 (19) Feb 21, 2012
Dark, You really can't think well, I think. Your reliance on a narrow perspective has left you in the intellectual closet. Embarrassment is coming. What will you say then? I predict nothing.

If you pay attention, you will find that many new observations just in the last few weeks are rather easily explained by this model, and impossible with conventional models. How many correct fits does it take to move the irrationally rational mind to reconsider it's over-considered conclusions? When will it be safe to venture into new intellectual territory? Fear new ideas? Isn't that what they say in church?
Deesky
5 / 5 (3) Feb 21, 2012
You really can't think well, I think. Your reliance on a narrow perspective has left you in the intellectual closet

LOL!
Estevan57
2.2 / 5 (27) Feb 21, 2012
Well written article. Lots of relevant info in a small space.

I wonder how the jets and massive winds interact.

"The underlying etheric realm - grows the core star from within until it becomes unstable and ejects much of the material in this massive unfocused wind".

Sound like intestinal distress on a grand scale. Couldn't resist.
jsdarkdestruction
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 23, 2012
tuxford, i clarified more of laviolettes theory for you. I dont see how making sure the people know what he thinks in full is any of the things you said. Why dont you ever include such important parts(well, to him and his followers/cult) of his theory? is it because it shows laviolette is a crank and making stuff up thats total fantasy based? yeah,their are codes in the pattern of stars were left to tell us the future and how the universe makes new matter from nothing, sure. how can you possibley believe that?
Tuxford
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 02, 2012
LaViolette has now commented on this news, expanding on why it is unlikely that the source of the expelled gas is via accretion, and how black holes occur only in the minds of physicists.

http://starburstf...g/?p=339
jsdarkdestruction
2 / 5 (4) Mar 02, 2012
just because laviolette has a mini black hole in his brain that does not mean all physicists do tuxford.
jsdarkdestruction
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 02, 2012
whats he gonna do when after the end of 2012 his "galactic superwave" shows itself to not exist? will you then finally admit he's a crank and stop spamming science sites?