View Full Version : Iron Can Help Determine if a Black Hole is Spinning

2005-Sep-07, 03:24 PM
SUMMARY: Astronomers have used the Chandra X-Ray Observatory to examine the presence of iron in three stellar black holes to understand if they're spinning or not. In theory, a spinning black hole will drag space around it and permit atoms to exist closer than a non-spinning one - Chandra can detect the relativistic effects on iron atoms orbiting the black hole. The explanation for different spin rates could be due to the size of a black hole's source of material; the larger the source (like a big star) and longer feeding time, the faster the black hole spins.

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