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Artist's impression of black-hole system

Artist's impression of black-hole system

Date: 12 July 2016
Copyright: ESA/ATG medialab

This artist's impression depicts the accretion disc surrounding a black hole, in which the inner region of the disc precesses.

In these three views, the precessing inner disc shines high energy radiation that strikes the matter in the surrounding accretion disc, causing the iron atoms in that disc to emit in X-rays, depicted as the glow on the accretion disc to the right (in the top view), to the front (in the middle view) and to the left (in the bottom view).

A study, using data from ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory and NASA's NuSTAR telescope, measured this 'wobble' in the iron line X-ray emission, and interpreted this as evidence for the Lense-Thirring effect in the strong gravitational field of a black hole.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
17-Jun-2024 23:03 UT

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