Study suggests black hole jets get their power from spin

November 20, 2014 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report
This artist's concept depicts a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. The blue color here represents radiation pouring out from material very close to the black hole. The grayish structure surrounding the black hole, called a torus, is made up of gas and dust. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(Phys.org) —A team of space scientists working in Italy has found more evidence that suggests the energy needed to emit jets from supermassive black holes comes from the spin of the black hole itself. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how their survey of data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope allowed for comparing two types of emissions from the black holes, which showed a correlation.

Scientists know that some , the kind that typically exist at the center of galaxies, shoot out particles at near the speed of light in a constant stream (aka as jets)—such black holes have accretion disks and because the black hole spins, the jets as viewed from Earth tend to blink—they are generically known as quasars (or blazars if their jets are aligned with us.) What's not been clear is where the energy comes from to support such jets. The general theory is that it most likely comes from the gravitational effect of material in an being pulled in. But calculations have suggested that might not be enough to account for the amount of energy needed to produce the jets. In this new effort, the researchers looked at data from NASA's telescope to see if more information could be found to better explain the true source.

The team looked specifically at two types of data. The first was measurements of gamma rays, which showed how bright the jets were. The second was optical observations that showed how luminous the accretion disks were. Plotting them together showed a clear correlation between the two, the team reports, noting that the brighter the disks were, the stronger the jets were. But, the data also showed that the jets were producing more energy than could be accounted for by the accretion disks, which indicates that some other energy source must be involved. That source, the suggests, is most likely energy from the spinning of the black hole itself.

Unfortunately, it's not yet possible to measure the spin of supermassive black holes, which would add another factor to the equation and perhaps answer the question of where the get their once and for all. But that should change in 2028 when a European project, the Athena x-ray observatory goes aloft.

Explore further: Computer model shows strong magnetic fields may alter alignment of black hole accretion disks and plasma jets

More information: The power of relativistic jets is larger than the luminosity of their accretion disks, Nature 515, 376–378 (20 November 2014) DOI: 10.1038/nature13856

Abstract
Theoretical models for the production of relativistic jets from active galactic nuclei predict that jet power arises from the spin and mass of the central supermassive black hole, as well as from the magnetic field near the event horizon. The physical mechanism underlying the contribution from the magnetic field is the torque exerted on the rotating black hole by the field amplified by the accreting material. If the squared magnetic field is proportional to the accretion rate, then there will be a correlation between jet power and accretion luminosity. There is evidence for such a correlation, but inadequate knowledge of the accretion luminosity of the limited and inhomogeneous samples used prevented a firm conclusion. Here we report an analysis of archival observations of a sample of blazars (quasars whose jets point towards Earth) that overcomes previous limitations. We find a clear correlation between jet power, as measured through the γ-ray luminosity, and accretion luminosity, as measured by the broad emission lines, with the jet power dominating the disk luminosity, in agreement with numerical simulations9. This implies that the magnetic field threading the black hole horizon reaches the maximum value sustainable by the accreting matter.

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20 comments

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movementiseternal
Nov 20, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
movementiseternal
Nov 20, 2014
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Anakin
1 / 5 (1) Nov 20, 2014
Europe landing on a comet. Europe seting up a x-ray telescope. Europe build CERN LHC and planing for a better accelerator. Europe build Max IV. Europe build European Spallation Source (ESS) .
China build a 52 km accelerator, sending satellites ut to space and planning for a base on the moon. Also have manned space missions.
India sends mars orbitter.
Every exiting sciencs news is about other countrys then USA.
Can anyone tell me why America is giving away it's lead in sciense and tecnology and the foundation american economy have depended on since the Apollo era?
dumpsta101
5 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2014
[q
Can anyone tell me why America is giving away it's lead in sciense and tecnology and the foundation american economy have depended on since the Apollo era?


trillions of dollars of debt = less money for nasa.
dumpsta101
5 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2014


there is no pulling force or curving space at all!

http://physics.ap...es/v4/43 yes there is.
dumpsta101
5 / 5 (3) Nov 20, 2014

No expanding space at all!

http://www.prepos...kground/ yes it does :) your wrong.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Nov 20, 2014
Nice, dumpsta. That article on Preposterous Universe also contains a link to the Nobel Prize awarded for the original discovery of evidence for gravity waves, which is quite informative.
dumpsta101
5 / 5 (2) Nov 20, 2014
yea i thought so too. thought i should put an end to some of these crackpot theories lol
imido
Nov 20, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
imido
Nov 20, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
nswanberg
1 / 5 (1) Nov 20, 2014
As a point on the equator of a spinning black hole approaches the speed of light an inward crushing force is developed that cause the black hole to rotate even faster in order to conserve angular momentum. As the crushing force increases the black hole changes shape from a sphere to a cylinder or rod and part of the black hole will extend beyond its own event horizon allowing space, time, energy and matter to escape at the poles. This is the aurora astronomers see above and below the poles of super massive spinning black holes.
movementiseternal
Nov 20, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
PS3
1 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2014
Probably has something to do like concentrating it.

Europe landing on a comet. Europe seting up a x-ray telescope. Europe build CERN LHC and planing for a better accelerator. Europe build Max IV. Europe build European Spallation Source (ESS) .
China build a 52 km accelerator, sending satellites ut to space and planning for a base on the moon. Also have manned space missions.
India sends mars orbitter.
Every exiting sciencs news is about other countrys then USA.
Can anyone tell me why America is giving away it's lead in sciense and tecnology and the foundation american economy have depended on since the Apollo era?

Europe mission was a practical failure same as with the Chinese. Step your game up please.
Dated11/20/14 http://mars.jpl.n...06M_.JPG
Anakin
5 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
[q
Can anyone tell me why America is giving away it's lead in sciense and tecnology and the foundation american economy have depended on since the Apollo era?


trillions of dollars of debt = less money for nasa.

Wrong answer.
There is a lot of money around and the anual war budget could get NASA runing for over 60 years.
https://upworthy-...1-12.png
So why?
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 21, 2014
Every exiting sciencs news is about other countrys then USA.

Well, the US is a bit smaller than these other countries/nation groups. So what do you expect?

So why?

War makes a lot of money to those in power. Very few of those are connected to the NASA budget - and even fewer of those make any money off of it.
Anakin
not rated yet Nov 21, 2014
Every exiting sciencs news is about other countrys then USA.

Well, the US is a bit smaller than these other countries/nation groups. So what do you expect?

So why?

War makes a lot of money to those in power. Very few of those are connected to the NASA budget - and even fewer of those make any money off of it.


Short sighted profit as usual and the revolving door from the military sector to the political power center is in full spinn.
Reminds me of a song.
Sometimes,
I find another world inside my mind.
When I realize the crazy things we do.
It makes me feel ashamed to be alive.
It makes me want to run away and hide.

-chorus-
Its all about the money,
its all about the dum dum duh dee dum dum.
I don't think its funny.
To see us fade away.
Its all about the money,
its all about the dum dum duh dee dum dum.
and I think we got it all wrong anyway.
DeliriousNeuron
1 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2014
Most laughable article to date! ROFLMAO!
dumpsta101
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
Lets tell me what expanding space is? it is when the area of the universe expands (if your not sure what expand means it means to get bigger :D)... duh

What happening for expanding space when is expanding? umm what?

What kind of system is expanding space? the explosive force of the big bang is driving the expansion

how is born from nothingless? that's not a thought

what is dark energy? a hypothesis

where is coming from? where is what coming from?

how is interactive with expanding space? how is what interactive?

can you make science test with expanding space like you can make test with matter which mide expanding all a time? ever heard of the Hubble telescope?

Can you try tl get expanding space expanding faster? no, I am not god

can you tell anything at all, what is expanding space? it is our universe growing from how it started which was a lot smaller. I don't know how to explain such simple things differently. maybe go read a book or something.
dumpsta101
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
why do you think that we observed galaxies moving away from each other? if its not expanding space, perhaps the galaxy gods are upset with each other? also do you even understand relativity or what gravity waves are? because this is like day one stuff.
dumpsta101
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
Wrong answer.
There is a lot of money around and the anual war budget could get NASA runing for over 60 years.
https://upworthy-...1-12.png
So why?
there are a lot of positive things we could use our tax money on besides war... but we don't. and nasa doesn't create revenue soooo when we are out of debt then we could go right back to the old ways of paying for the military and for nasa but until then it doesn't look good. I think the question your looking for is why does our government waste our tax dollars on the war machine?. and there are a lot of reasons for that as well but this is a website about science and not politics so yeaaaaaa.

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