Scientists have long noticed mysterious jets of plasma that seem to mold and interfere with galaxies at will. Space.com reports that scientists have recently released new data that suggests the backward spin of a number of black holes could actually create these momentous jets of plasma.
Super massive black holes that are “millions to billions” of times the mass of our sun circulate the universe. As a result of their spin, galaxies drag space and time around with them. And based on evidence provided by supercomputers, scientists theorize that backwards-spinning black holes form when galaxies of different sizes come together.
Experts estimate that some of these giant black holes emit incredibly powerful jets of plasma that fly out in opposite directions. These jets are known to be crucial in the formation of new galaxies and how they cluster. But scientists have never been able to determine how these jets of energy are formed.
New evidence from data collected by the Suzaku Japanese space telescope suggests that it could have something to do with black holes that spin backwards. In fact, they think that black holes that spin in the opposite direction from their accretion disks might create jets right outside black holes. Further, this backwards spin could possibly warp space-time to push the innermost portions of accretion disks outward.
The scientists came to this conclusion by looking at the way light is reflected — or not reflected — in the core of the black holes. As reported by Space.com, a fraction of light from the coronas reflects off the accretion disks. This creates a pattern called the Compton reflection hump. But the black holes that spew off these jets do not have a Compton reflection hump. This may mean that their accretion disks have no inner regions to reflect light from the corona. And these gaps, or lack of inner regions, may result in a backwards whirl.
Dan Evans, a researcher at MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, explains it best: "Picture trying to get as close to the edge of a ceiling fan with a pencil in your hand without hitting the fan. It's much easier to get close if you're co-rotating with the fan, moving the same direction as it, as the fan creates a sucking effect. If you're moving in the opposite direction, counter-rotating with the spin of that fan, the air is effectively pushed out at you, generating an opposing force, and you get much further from that fan. The same thing happens with spinning black holes, where the force you feel is roughly analogous to the wind."
Scientists may confirm this new data after 2011. Then, NASA plans the launch of a satellite called the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). Space.com reports that the satellite contains technology that is 10 to 50 times more sensitive than what currently exists.
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