Indian, US satellites find black hole that spins near maximum possible rates

• Scientists using data from India’s first dedicated astronomy satellite.

• AstroSat, and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found that a black hole in the binary star system 4U 1630-47 spins close to the maximum possible rate.

• Relatively smaller black holes are exotic end states of massive stellar cores, said astronomers led by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai.

Important highlights of this findings

• The gravity of such a collapsing core is so strong that its entire mass is crushed into a point, according to the research accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

• This point, however, cannot be directly seen, because nothing, not even light, can escape from a region around it, thus justifying the name of the object.

• Surprisingly, astronomical black holes are the simplest known objects in the universe, because they can be fully characterised by only two properties, mass and spin rate.

• Therefore, measurements of these two properties are uniquely important to probe some extreme aspects of the universe and the fundamental physics related to them, researchers said.

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Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

Prelims level: Black Hole, AstroSat

Mains level: Space related discoveries by NASA-ISRO collaboration

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