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Peculiar Black Hole Spins Like A Top As It Warps Space Around It

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Extraordinary black hole resembles a top as it spins and shoots ultrafast plasma clouds everywhere.

The black hole, which is found in V404 Cygni, exhibits behaviors that were never observed before on such a short period of time. The jets rapidly rotate as it fire from the black hole toward different directions, just about minutes apart.

"This is one of the most extraordinary black hole systems I've ever come across," says James Miller-Jones, lead author and Associate Professor at Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

A Different Black Hole

Miller-Jones says black holes are among the most extreme materials in the universe. The black hole in spotlight is similar to other black holes, such that it is also feeding on a neighboring star, taking gas away from it, and producing a disk of object that orbits the black hole and spiral toward it under gravity.

What sets V404 Cygni apart from others is that its disk of material and black hole are misaligned. Such property results in the internal part of the disk to shake up like a top and release jets in different directions as its orientation alters.

About The V404 Cygni

Researchers first discovered V404 Cygni in 1989, when it fired up a big series of jets and radiation.

In 2015, scientists were able to observed illuminating outbursts, which lasted for about two weeks. The whole world stopped and stared, facing all telescopes in the direction of the outburst.

At present, researchers have an incredible observational resource, says Miller-Jones.

Challenging To Take Photos

As this black hole is peculiar, scientists have to resort to a completely different method of radio observations.

Radio telescopes usually generate a single image out of a couple of hours of observation. For V404 Cygni, the telescopes only produced a blur of an image after four hours, due to the rapid changes on the jets emitted.

To come up with a valuable understanding of what really happened, the scientists captured about 103 individual photos, lasting about 70 seconds each, and then put them all together.

The team used the Very Long Baseline Array, which has 10 dishes across the United States.

Similar Space Bodies

Other space objects may demonstrate wobbling of its internal accretion disk, too.

Gemma Anderson, study coauthor explains that the latest happening may occur in other space objects and location where there is a misaligned spin of black hole and the object falling in. This includes other very bright and extraordinary events in the universe like huge black holes feeding very rapidly or tidal disturbance when a black hole shreds a star.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

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