For the first time astronomers have created a complete description of a black hole, matter which is so dense that even light can not overcome its monstrous gravitational force. Unprecedentedly accurate measurements to reconstruct the history of the object, starting from the moment of his birth, about 6 million years ago.
With the help of several telescopes, both ground-based and orbiting, the scientists uncovered the ancient secrets of the object Cygnus X-1, the famous double star system, which is a strong source of X-rays, opened half a century ago. The system consists of a black hole and the star from which the black hole is a substance. Scientists were able to spend the most accurate measurements of the mass and velocity of rotation of the black hole in history.
"Because no other information can go beyond the black hole, its mass, spin and electric charge - is its complete description," - said Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "The charge of this black hole is nearly zero, so that we have enough measurements of its mass and speed," - he added.
Although the Cygnus X-1 has been studied intensively since its discovery, previous attempts to estimate the mass and rotation suffered from a lack of accurate data about the distance to the object from Earth. Team Reid made a direct trigonometric measurement of the distance by an antenna array with very long baselines (ARSB) - System radio telescope the size of a continent, owned by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Their observations have determined the distance of 6070 light-years, while previous measurements varied between 5800-7800 light-years.
Scientists have determined that the black hole Cygnus X-1 is about 15 times the mass of our Sun and is spinning at 800 times per second.
"This new information allows you to know, how did this black hole, how much she weighed and how fast the" - said Reid. "The exact measurement of the distance was crucial," - he added.
In addition to measuring the distance ARSB observations made from 2009 to 2010, possible to determine the velocity of the Cygnus X-1 to our galaxy. This movement, according to scientists, is too slow for the black hole, which was formed as a result of a supernova explosion. Such an explosion would give this property a great rate.