First obtained a direct image of the disk of a black hole

November 6, 2011 5:23

Direct image of the disk of a black holeUsing the Hubble Space Telescope was first obtained an image of the quasar accretion disk. Quasar is a bright cloth to a disk, which is sucked into the black hole at the center of the galaxy at a rate such that it begins to glow. This study was applied innovative technology of gravitational lenses — celestial objects that reinforce signals passing through them. This allowed astronomers to directly measure the size of the first disc, and the temperature of its different regions. The accuracy of observations of individual grains of sand equivalent discrimination on the lunar surface.

While black holes themselves are invisible, but they are drawn into a mother with so much force that it creates the most striking phenomenon in the universe. Quasars — is shining disc of matter that is pulled into the black hole, heating up and emitting extremely bright light.

"The typical quasar accretion disc has a size of a few light-days, or about 100 billion kilometers across, but they are billions of light years away. This means that their visible from Earth size is so small that we probably will never have such a powerful telescope, which would allow them to see the structure, "- said Jose Munoz, who led the study.

Such small dimensions of quasars means that all our knowledge of their internal structure is based on theoretical extrapolations, rather than direct observation.

This study used an innovative method for the study of quasars: star lies between us and the quasar galaxy acted as a scanning microscope, which allowed us to consider disk quasar. The gravitational force of these stars amplifies light of the quasar, giving detailed color information.

They found that a compelling cost disk sizes from 4 to 11 light-days across (about 100 — 300 billion kilometers).

"This result is very important because it will allow to obtain data on the structure of these systems, rather than relying on dry theory," — said Munoz. "Physical properties of quasars is poorly understood. The ability to receive data directly, will provide new opportunities for understanding the nature of these objects. "

Original (in English. Language): Physorg

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