Scientists Spot the Shadow of a Strange Wind blowing past a Black Hole

Scientists Spot the Shadow of a Strange Wind blowing past a Black Hole

Scientists claim that a strange wind blew past a Black Hole.

Black holes are those places in space where the gravitational pull is so strong that even light cannot get through it. The presence of too much mass in small space is the reason why the gravitational strength is so strong there. As light cannot come back from them, humans cannot see black holes. It is a part of our nature that we fear what we cannot understand and the fact that we know very little about these holes makes us afraid of them. However, scientists can judge their location by using space telescopes and other advanced tools. Stars near them act as our guides as they act differently. Latest discovery has increased the fascination about black holes many times as scientists have spotted the shadow of a strange wind blowing past a black hole.

It is a well-known concept in the scientific world that hot winds blow in space that takes most of the matter away from event horizons of black holes. This information is available to scientists for last 7 to 8 years that these winds take nearly 95% of the particles that are sucked by black holes. What scientists have found now is that these strange gusts can appear or disappear almost immediately. Joey Neilson, a Physicist at Villanova University, himself acknowledged that winds blowing for months vanished within seconds. Neilson verified that scientists were observing the X-ray shadows of these winds through a telescope when all of a sudden they were not there.

This issue was raised by him in the April meeting of the American Physical Society. He told the gathering that his team studied these million-degree winds through Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), a newly mounted telescope at the International Space Station. He told LiveScience about that post-presentation and said,

It’s like a mist passing in front of a street lamp at night or a neon light put in front of an even brighter surface of the same color — on its own, it would look bright, [but against the shining background of a black hole,] it looks dark.”

Fast-moving matter produces a wind that blows away from black holes.

The observations explained by Neilson are simply breathtaking. Accretion disk, the whirling cloud of dust formed near a black hole, comes into existence when the material is pulled towards a black hole. The matter accelerates to incredible speeds once dust approaches towards these holes. This gives birth to the glow which researchers observe. It was believed for quite some time that all this light comes from black holes themselves. Excellent X-ray beams are emitted during this process and NICER allows us to study them. The intensity of these rays is so strong near the event horizon of a black hole that most of the matter is pushed back into space at outstanding speeds. That matter forms the wind which Neilson found out.

Neilson’s team of researchers examined a famous black hole knows as GRS 1915+105. The number of X-ray emissions of this black hole varies abruptly without any specific pattern. All the observations led to the conclusion that these winds are heavily dependent on the X-ray emissions as they vanished instantly following the reduction in emissions. Neilson explained this in the following words:

“It really happens in seconds, just like that.”

The researchers showed how the wind stopped blowing once the brightness of GRS 1915+105 dimmed. They also mentioned that this can happen really quickly even if the consistent wind is being observed for several months.

Talking about the composition of the wind, Neilson clarified that it is quite different from what we experience on Earth. It is so hot that raw iron particles in it can produce enough X-rays to kill a person who is close enough. Similarly, it is much thinner than Earth’s atmosphere. He is hopeful that detailed analysis of the data extracted through NICER will help scientists to answer many long-lasting mysteries about black holes as we hardly have any scientific explanation of the gravitational effects experienced there. He also told the world that his team will try to judge the behavior of these winds over very short time spans as they crash with event horizons.

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