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Black Holes Take Light For A Spin

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posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:52 PM

Given how weird black holes are, it’s only fitting that researchers have found a screwy way to detect the rotation of these gravitational monsters. Existing telescopes could be equipped with special detectors to record the twist imprinted on light waves that pass near a rapidly spinning black hole, Bo Thidé of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Uppsala and his colleagues report online February 13 in Nature Physics.

Photons emitted near a rotating black hole get a twist, in the form of orbital angular momentum, represented by the spiral-staircase shape. Detecting that pattern, researchers say, will allow astronomers to directly measure a black hole's spin.

Source: Black holes take light for a spin

Thought this was an interesting read. It would be neat to see a black hole through this technique. I can only assume that the picture above is only a representation of what they would expect to see. The article is to be in a March 2011 issue of Science News, and I'm hoping there is more information as to when this can become one step closer to implementing and exploring.
edit on 28-2-2011 by cluckerspud because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:57 PM
reply to post by cluckerspud

that was a good read, thumbs up

posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 09:14 PM
We have known about circular polarization of light for years but this is a novel way to measure the rotation of a black hole.

Similarly, I would expect more Hawking radiation from a rapidly spinning black hole due to the frame dragging effect.

I cannot however concieve of a slow spinning black hole.

The angular momentum of the original star would be conserved in the collapse and, like a ballerina spinning faster as she draws he arms in, the star would spin at incredible angular velocities by the time it had collapsed to something as small as a black hole.

We know that the smallest "starting mass" for a star to become a black hole would be about two to three times the mass of our sun and that this would collapse to produce an event horizon about 9 kilometers in diameter

posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 03:09 PM
cool stuff. the artist representation almost reminds me of fractals,
which seem to occur in nature.

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