Lense-Thirring precession after a supermassive black hole disrupts a star. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38778113/)

These scientists observed a supermassive black hole that had disrupted a star, causing an accretion disk to form around it. This disk was not aligned with the black hole's equatorial plane at first, which made it spin in a wobbly way. The scientists used high-tech equipment to monitor the X-ray emissions from this event very closely. They found that the X-ray emissions showed a pattern of going up and down in brightness and temperature every 15 days, and this pattern lasted for about 130 days. This wobbling motion of the accretion disk was caused by a scientific effect called Lense-Thirring precession.

By studying these X-ray variations, the scientists were able to learn more about the black hole's spin and how it interacted with the disrupted star. They also considered other possible explanations for the X-ray changes, like radiation pressure, but they found that the precession of the accretion disk was the most likely cause. This study helped the scientists better understand how black holes interact with their surroundings and spin around in space.

Pasham DR., Zajacek M., Nixon CJ., Coughlin ER., Sniegowska M., Janiuk A., Czerny B., Wevers T., Guolo M., Ajay Y., Loewenstein M. Lense-Thirring precession after a supermassive black hole disrupts a star. Nature. 2024 May 22. doi: 10.1038/s41586-024-07433-w.

ichini | 3 weeks ago | 0 comments | Reply