APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 3608
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:21 am

Image Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole

Explanation: How fast can a black hole spin? If any object made of regular matter spins too fast -- it breaks apart. But a black hole might not be able to break apart -- and its maximum spin rate is really unknown. Theorists usual model rapidly rotating black holes with the Kerr solution to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which predicts several amazing and unusual things. Perhaps its most easily testable prediction, though, is that matter entering a maximally rotating black hole should be last seen orbiting at near the speed of light, as seen from far away. This prediction was tested recently by NASA's NuSTAR and ESA's XMM satellites by observing the supermassive black hole at the center of spiral galaxy NGC 1365. The near light-speed limit was confirmed by measuring the heating and spectral line broadening of nuclear emissions at the inner edge of the surrounding accretion disk. Pictured above is an artist's illustration depicting an accretion disk of normal matter swirling around a black hole, with a jet emanating from the top. Since matter randomly falling into the black hole should not spin up a black hole this much, the NuSTAR and XMM measurements also validate the existence of the surrounding accretion disk.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>
[/b]

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18570
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by bystander » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:38 am

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 9621
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Ann » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:29 am

The "Discuss" link took me to the wrong APOD.

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18570
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by bystander » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:37 am

Ann wrote:The "Discuss" link took me to the wrong APOD.
Thanks, the editors have been informed.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

kktlam

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by kktlam » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:51 am

I wonder whether that black hole in the middle will distort how things around and behind it look? Would the center of the disk look just like a black sphere?

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 9621
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Ann » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:54 am

A fascinating thought is whether or not spacetime itself is capable of "rupturing" right next to a black hole that is spinning perhaps as fast as the speed of light.

Ann
Color Commentator

Markus Schwarz
Science Officer
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:55 am
Location: Germany

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Markus Schwarz » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:23 am

Ann wrote:A fascinating thought is whether or not spacetime itself is capable of "rupturing" right next to a black hole that is spinning perhaps as fast as the speed of light.

Ann
Spacetime doesn't "rupture" at the event horizon of a black hole. At the "center" of a black hole, however, resides a singularity according to general relativity. Such a singularity can be imagined as a "rupture in spacetime". But whether such a singularity really exists is still unknown. The reasons is that the Kerr solution is a vacuum solution with no matter present. This assumptions breaks down near the "center", because the infalling matter will accumulate there. Furthermore, quantum effects of matter might play a role as well.

saturno2
Commander
Posts: 633
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by saturno2 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:34 am

A black hole rotates at high speed
But not known to that speed.
I think a black hole created by the explosion of a massive star, must be different
than it is in the center of a galaxy.
Different in technical caracteristics

ufox

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by ufox » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:29 am

I'm wondering how the view of a black hole would really look like. I think the gravitational effects do some strange things to the light. Some parts of the disk should be red shifted, others blue shifted and all should be bended by the gravitational lense effect of the black hole. Is there somewhere an illustration of such a realistic view available in the web?

User avatar
owlice
Guardian of the Codes
Posts: 8351
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:18 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by owlice » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:46 am

Try here. Have fun!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

Papillon

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Papillon » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:43 pm

A dumb question-
They say nothing can escape from black hole. Even light cannot escape the gravity of a black hole. Then how come a jet is emanating from the top?

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 14427
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:14 pm

Papillon wrote:A dumb question-
They say nothing can escape from black hole. Even light cannot escape the gravity of a black hole. Then how come a jet is emanating from the top?
The jet originates outside the event horizon. It isn't coming from inside the black hole at all. Anything that is outside the event horizon can escape a black hole if it has enough velocity (the mechanics of this are no different than how any two massive bodies interact- there's nothing special about a black hole).
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
RJN
Baffled Boffin
Posts: 1492
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: Michigan Tech

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by RJN » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:18 pm

Ann wrote:The "Discuss" link took me to the wrong APOD.
Oops. My bad. Fixed it. Sorry.
- RJN

User avatar
Psnarf
Science Officer
Posts: 292
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Psnarf » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:03 pm

Does all matter approaching from an angle between the accretion disk and the jet always end up at the outer edge of the accretion disk?
It is my feeble understanding that inside the event horizon, space-time gets so wacky that time replaces the space dimension and forward time points toward the center. Stuff can't get out, except Hawking Radiation, because for the same reason we can't go back in time. The concept of a singularity eludes me. Whatever part of an atom that still exists at the event horizon would get compressed beyond the ability of whatever quantum particles are still there to repel each other. I don't know how to calculate the result of two particles breaking the combined force of their repulsion, or what happens next. The transition into other particles as depicted here http://cpepweb.org/ cannot occur. For E=mc^2, the gravitational compression would have to exceed E. Sew! what do you get, bundles of E heading for the center from all directions? I imagine those E's would be quite large because the 'm' for each particle would exceed c^2.
Please excuse me, my head exploded; I'm off to retrieve the pieces.

User avatar
MargaritaMc
Look to the Evenstar
Posts: 1836
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:14 pm
Location: 28°16'7"N 16°36'20"W

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by MargaritaMc » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:25 pm

owlice wrote:Try here. Have fun!
:yes: :thumb_up: :clap:
Thanks!
Last edited by MargaritaMc on Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
&mdash; Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 14427
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:27 pm

Psnarf wrote:Does all matter approaching from an angle between the accretion disk and the jet always end up at the outer edge of the accretion disk?
It is my feeble understanding that inside the event horizon, space-time gets so wacky that time replaces the space dimension and forward time points toward the center. Stuff can't get out, except Hawking Radiation, because for the same reason we can't go back in time. The concept of a singularity eludes me. Whatever part of an atom that still exists at the event horizon would get compressed beyond the ability of whatever quantum particles are still there to repel each other. I don't know how to calculate the result of two particles breaking the combined force of their repulsion, or what happens next. The transition into other particles as depicted here http://cpepweb.org/ cannot occur. For E=mc^2, the gravitational compression would have to exceed E. Sew! what do you get, bundles of E heading for the center from all directions? I imagine those E's would be quite large because the 'm' for each particle would exceed c^2.
Please excuse me, my head exploded; I'm off to retrieve the pieces.
It's really not worth speculating about the inside of a black hole, unless you're a theoretical physicist exploring HIGHLY speculative ideas, most of which barely rise to scientific standards of testability. I think it's best to simply treat a black hole the same way we treat fundamental particles: they have no inside. The bottom line is that what happens inside the event horizon- including the existence of any possible singularity- is simply outside the realm of our current understanding of physics. What happens outside the event horizon, however, is not (for instance, accretion disc and jet physics). Where any particle approaching a black hole ends up is determined by conventional orbital mechanics and fluid dynamics. In the absence of an accretion disc, particles not in orbit around the black hole will simply make a pass around it and leave again, uncaptured (a hyperbolic orbit with respect to the black hole). If the particle interacts with an accretion disc, however, it can lose energy and be captured. In that case, it will end up somewhere in the accretion disc, although not necessarily at the outside.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

Markus Schwarz
Science Officer
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:55 am
Location: Germany

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Markus Schwarz » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:36 pm

Psnarf wrote:It is my feeble understanding that inside the event horizon, space-time gets so wacky that time replaces the space dimension and forward time points toward the center. Stuff can't get out, except Hawking Radiation, because for the same reason we can't go back in time.
This is indeed another way to understand why nothing can escape after crossing the event horizon.
Psnarf wrote: The concept of a singularity eludes me. Whatever part of an atom that still exists [close to the center] would get compressed beyond the ability of whatever quantum particles are still there to repel each other. I don't know how to calculate the result of two particles breaking the combined force of their repulsion, or what happens next.
If it is a comfort to you: no body does and it an open question in modern physics :ssmile: However, gravity at the event horizon must not be extremely large. Counter-intuitively, the more massive the black hole, the smaller the gravitational acceleration at the event horizon. In principle you could survive crossing the event horizon (given a sufficiently massive black hole, not surrounded by hot gas, etc), but you could not tell anyone. And gravitational forces would get larger the closer you inevitablely approach the center.

ta152h0
Schooled
Posts: 1340
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:46 am
Location: Auburn, Washington, USA

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by ta152h0 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:54 pm

soooo... we don't have that little pesky problem of a singularity having a unit of measure called " spin rate " ?
Wolf Kotenberg

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16089
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by neufer » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:52 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
It's really not worth speculating about the inside of a black hole, unless you're a theoretical physicist exploring HIGHLY speculative ideas, most of which barely rise to scientific standards of testability.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/critical-opalescence/2012/12/14/when-you-fall-into-a-black-hole-how-long-have-you-got/ wrote:
When You Fall into a Black Hole, How Long Have You Got?
By George Musser | Scientific American, December 14, 2012 |

<<In chatting with colleagues after a talk this week, Joe Polchinski said he’d love to fall into a black hole. Most theoretical physicists would. They are just insanely curious about what would happen. Black holes are where the known laws of physics come into their most direct conflict. The worst trouble is the black hole information paradox that Stephen Hawking loosed upon the world in 1976. Polchinski and his colleagues have shown that the predicament is even worse than physicists used to think.
........
The least radical conclusion is that the no-drama principle is false. Someone falling into a black hole doesn’t pass uneventfully through the horizon, but hits a wall of fire and is instantly incinerated. “I think it’s crazy,” Polchinski admitted. But in order for a black hole to decay and its contents to spill out, as quantum mechanics demands, the infalling observer can’t see just a vacuum. The firewall idea strikes me as similar to past speculation that black holes are somehow material objects—so-called black stars or dark matter stars—rather than merely blank space.

“I spent 20 years confused by this,” Polchinski said, “and now I’m as confused as ever.” It would be nice to answer the question, if only so that no one ever has to undertake the journey to answer the question.>>
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
Psnarf
Science Officer
Posts: 292
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Psnarf » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:13 pm

At least I found the answer to my question about the accretion disk.
Spin results from a transfer of angular momentum, like playing on a children’s swing. If you kick at random times while you swing, you’ll never get very high. But if you kick at the beginning of each downswing, you go higher and higher as you add angular momentum.

Similarly, if the black hole grew randomly by pulling in matter from all directions, its spin would be low. Since its spin is so close to the maximum possible, the black hole in NGC 1365 must have grown through “ordered accretion” rather than multiple random events.
http://smithsonianscience.org/2013/02/s ... uper-fast/

(Edit: I forgot the closing tag includes a virgule, not a backslash.)

User avatar
Psnarf
Science Officer
Posts: 292
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Psnarf » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:24 pm

The more massive the black hole spinning near light speed drags space-time around it in such a way than you can get closer to the event horizon without crossing it.
We can never know what's the deal in there, no information has ever escaped. Argument seems similar to what's beyond the farthest photon source, with no verifiable information, we can never know. Same with consciousness, since consciousness cannot observe itself. I've never seen the back of my neck directly, just illusions in a mirror. I have a sneaking suspicion it's there based upon mosquito bites.

User avatar
MargaritaMc
Look to the Evenstar
Posts: 1836
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:14 pm
Location: 28°16'7"N 16°36'20"W

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by MargaritaMc » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:40 pm

Gosh, Psnarf - I had to look up "virgule" in the dictionary... I wonder if 'backslash' has a Sunday Best name as well?
Margarita

PS. We can't be sure about the back of our own necks - and we can't be sure that there are any other people actually on the Starship Asterisk, can we? This might be the perfect Turing test...
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
&mdash; Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 14427
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:16 pm

Psnarf wrote:We can never know what's the deal in there, no information has ever escaped.
I disagree, except in the sense that we can never know anything with 100% certainty. That doesn't mean we can't come to understand the interior of black holes (assuming they have interiors) with a high degree of confidence. It isn't a requirement that we ever be able to observe inside one, only that we have testable theories that provide solid implications regarding the matter. Much of what we "know" we know because of indirect observations, after all (indeed, we could argue that all observations are indirect).
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

deathfleer

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by deathfleer » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:55 pm

It is hard to believe.
The hole must be matterless, otherwise the contents of the would have been spewed outwards by the great centrifugal force

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2531
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Spin up of a Supermassive Black Hole (2013 Mar 12)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:41 am

Well, at any rate it is like a Vinyl Record...The needle starts at the beginning of the song and when it reaches the end of the GROOVE....GAME OVER MAN!!!! Buh-Bye particle. Hello, Energy...

:---[===] *