Sci/Tech Astronomers Just Found a Star Orbiting a Black Hole at 1 Percent the Speed of Light

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    Astronomers have just spotted a star whizzing around a vast black hole at about 2.5 times the distance between Earth and the Moon, and it takes only half an hour to complete one orbit.

    To put that into perspective, it takes roughly 28 days for our Moon to do a single lap around our relatively tiny planet at speeds of 3,683 kilometres (2,288 miles) per hour, meaning this star is moving at some mind-boggling, break-neck speeds.

    Using data from an array of deep space telescopes, a team of astronomers have measured the X-rays pouring from a binary star system called 47 Tuc X9, which sits in a cluster of stars about 14,800 light-years away.

    The pair of stars aren't new to astronomers - they were identified as a binary system way back in 1989 - but it's now finally becoming clear what's actually going on here.

    "For a long time, it was thought that X9 is made up of a white dwarf pulling matter from a low mass Sun-like star," said researcher Arash Bahramian.

    When a white dwarf pulls material from another star, the system is described as a cataclysmic variable star. But back in 2015, one of the objects was found to be a black hole, throwing that hypothesis into serious doubt.

    Read more here. (Science Alert)
     

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