New data from a powerful NASA telescope has discovered the spin rate of a supermassive black hole, showing that it’s moving “almost as fast as Einstein’s theory of gravity will allow.”
NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the European Union’s XMM-Newton telescope tracked the supermassive black hole at the centre of galaxy NGC 1365. The black hole is several million times larger than our sun.
“This is hugely important to the field of black hole science,” Lou Kaluzienski, a NuSTAR program scientist said in a release.
The data, presented on Thursday in Nature shows that the black hole at the heart of NGC 1365 was spinning at 1.08 billion kilometres per hour.
The scientists say that knowing the speed that this is happening means that they can discover potentially new things about the nature of the universe and test Einstein’s theory of relativity.
“We can trace matter as it swirls into a black…
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