Hilo astronomer helps size up the first black hole ever detected – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-02-23 03:27:52 –

Hiro-based astronomers have joined the team to rewrite everything we know about the giant black hole Cygnus X-1.

Alex Tetalenko, working at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), is working with a team of international researchers to analyze new observations of the first black hole ever detected, Cygnus X-1. I am. According to their research, the system contains the largest stellar black hole ever detected without the use of gravitational waves.

“Our new observations show that Cygnus X-1 is farther from Earth than previously thought, which is why this black hole is much larger than previously estimated. , Shows that it weighs more than 20 times as much as our own sun, “said Tetarenko.

Cygnus X-1 is one of the closest black holes to Earth. It was discovered when a Geiger counter was mounted on an orbital rocket launched from New Mexico in 1964. This object was famous as the focus of scientific betting between physicists Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne. Hawking bet that it was not a black hole in 1974 and eventually accepted the bet in 1990.

In this latest study, astronomers used a very long baseline array (a continent-sized radio telescope consisting of 10 plates spread throughout the United States) and clever measurement techniques to make black holes over a six-day period. I observed all orbits. Distance in space.

“One of the very long baseline array telescopes is on the slopes of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. This antenna plays an important role in enabling this kind of science,” Tetarenko explains. did.

Professor James Miller Jones, a senior researcher at Curtin University, and the Center for International Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) give an overview of the ingenious technology used by this team of researchers.

“If you can see the same object from different locations, you can calculate the distance from us by measuring how much the object appears to move relative to the background,” Miller-Jones said. Says. “When you put your finger in front of you and look at it with one eye at a time, it looks like your finger is jumping from one place to another. That’s exactly the same principle.”

“The domino effect of our new observations has led to fascinating new insights into how stars evolve and how black holes are formed,” co-authors at Curtin University and ICRAR. Said Arash Bahramian. Tetarenko and Bahramian are longtime colleagues, both with PhDs from the University of Alberta, Canada.

In fact, this study produced two more companion papers. Professor Ilya Mandel, co-author of Monash University, and the ARC Center of Excellence in Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) further explained the widespread impact of this study.

“Cygnus X-1, in particular, was born as a star about 60 times the mass of the Sun and collapsed tens of thousands of years ago,” Mandel said. “During their lifetime, stars lose mass to their surroundings through the stellar wind blown from their surface. But to make a black hole as heavy as Cygnus X-1 You need to dial down the amount of mass that a bright star loses during its lifetime. “

New measurements of distance and mass also show that the Cygnus X-1’s black hole is spinning incredibly fast (very close to the speed of light). This is shown in a second companion paper led by PhD candidate Xueshan Zhao. Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“All of these exciting discoveries are made possible by collaboration between diverse groups of international astronomers focusing on different observational and theoretical aspects of black holes, all of which are known. “We have gathered for a new extensive and rigorous investigation of the previously elusive black hole,” said Barramian.

As the next generation of telescopes come online, sensitivity will increase, leveraging decades of efforts by scientists and research teams around the world to better understand space and exotic and extreme objects. Will become more and more detailed.

“Study a black hole is like shedding light on the best-protected secrets in the universe. It’s a challenging but incredibly exciting field of study,” Miller Jones said. ..

Tetratenko added: “There is much more to discover about these mysterious astrophysical objects.”

Hilo astronomer helps size up the first black hole ever detected Source link Hilo astronomer helps size up the first black hole ever detected

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