Is the supermassive black hole Messier 87 Galaxy spinning?
It has recently been determined that the historic black hole Messier 87 Galaxy is spinning. This black hole gained notoriety in 2019 when it was the first void to be seen and showed a fuzzy orange donut.
This update about the Messier 87 Galaxy was disclosed on Wednesday, September 27.
But how quickly is Messier 87 Galaxy spinning? That is yet unknown.
The black hole, which is located in the center of the Messier 87 Galaxy around 55 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo, has been the focus of a network of radio telescopes for the past two decades.
New findings reveal that the intense relativistic jet that is erupting from the black hole’s poles appears to be swinging like a pendulum on an 11-year cycle.
This jet has captured the attention of these instruments in particular.
This, according to scientists, is a result of gravitational interactions between the rotating black hole, estimated to be around 6.5 billion times more huge than the sun, and the disk of material surrounding it. These interactions provide clear evidence of the black hole’s rotation.
Cui Yuzhu, a researcher at Zhejiang Lab in China and the study’s principal author, expressed his excitement in a statement about the important discovery.
Yuzhu notes that in order to detect the 11-year swing period of the jet, the team had to gather high-resolution data tracing Messier 87 Galaxy structure across two decades and perform a careful analysis in order to gather the necessary data.
The most recent discoveries demonstrate that Messier 87 Galaxy’s black hole jets have a substantially longer timescale. Nevertheless, they continue to be in line with Einstein’s ground-breaking theory of general relativity.
The theory states that the spinning black hole is so huge that frame-dragging, or pulling the fabric of space and time inward, occurs.
The reason the effect is visible, according to the team’s latest study, is that a black hole’s spin axis is not exactly aligned with the rotation axis of the accretion disk from which it absorbs star material. This causes the black hole’s jets to slightly wobble, which was measured in the latest research.