Stellar Mass Black Hole Consumes Neighboring Star

Recent observations made by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have recorded the fastest wind from a disk surrounding a stellar-mass black hole. The speed of these intense winds is estimated at around 3% of the speed of light (30,000,000 km/hr) – nearly ten times the speed recorded from previous measurements around stellar-mass black holes.

Scientists were able to calculate their estimates with spectral data (intensity of X-rays at different energies) taken by Chandra in 2011. By studying how ions emit and absorb differently, researchers can better understand their behavior. Additionally, evidence suggests that the wind coming from the disk of gas around the black hole might be carrying more material than the black hole is capturing.

The process to create stellar-mass black holes is thought to be when stars five to ten times the mass of our Sun experience a collapse at the end of their lifetime.

If you’d like to learn more about the Chandra X-Ray Observatory,