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Run Away Black Holes Prove Creation Theory

Black Hole Breakaway: Supernova Gives Birth to Cosmic Monster

A black hole shot from a spectacular cosmic explosion is racing across the Milky Way four times faster than the stars around it, astronomers announced today. The discovery is among the best evidence that black holes are indeed the invisible offspring of supernova, the catastrophic and explosive deaths of massive stars.

The object is at least 6,000 light years away and is headed roughly in our direction but poses no immediate threat.

The matter-slurping monster was detected because it has a visible companion star from which it feeds. The visible star orbits the black hole once every 2.6 days as they race around the main plain of the galaxy in a looping, off-kilter orbit.

"This is the first black hole found to be moving fast through the plane of our galaxy," said Felix Mirabel, a researcher at the French Atomic Energy Commission who led the work.

How close will it come to Earth?

"Not closer than 1,000 light-years in the next 230 million years," Mirabel told

The phenomenon is one of about one million wayward black holes zooming through our galaxy, said Mirabel.

The black holeís bright associate was observed in 1995 and 2001 with the Hubble Space Telescope, operated by NASA and the European Space Agency. Other ground-based observations sealed the case. The two objects move at 250,000 mph (111 kilometers per second) in relation to the stars around them.

How it all started

There are two main types of black holes. The most massive variety anchor large galaxies; our own galaxy has a black hole that weighs as much as 2.6 million suns.

Stellar black holes, like the one in the new study, have long been thought to form when massive stars explode. Much of the star escapes the scene, but if enough mass is leftover Ė about three to 15 times the weight of the Sun Ė it can collapse back into a small sphere of almost infinite density, theory holds.

Thatís how Mirabel figures this black hole was created.

Its visible companion would have been orbiting the original large star before the explosion. The shock of the event sent the pair racing outward from somewhere near the center of the galaxy, Mirabel thinks, though the exact location canít be determined.

Our solar system sits on a spiral arm in the outskirts of the main disk of the galaxy. Star formation is more frequent and intense nearer the galactic center, however, so supernova occurrences are more common there, too.

The companion starís gas is sucked off and consumed by the black hole. The process is pretty sloppy. Though the black hole eats much of what comes to its plate, some of the gas is converted to energy and spat out at 90 percent the speed of light. For this reason, the system is called a microquasar.

Many more to find

Last year, Mirabel found another black hole speeding through the galaxy at an even odder trajectory, slicing right through the plane of the Milky Way. That object was born far out in whatís known as the galactic halo, however, and is not known to be the product of a supernova.

The newly detected black hole, named GRO J1655-40, is the first to be observed speeding through and within the galactic plane, where the Sun and most of the other Milky Way stars reside. Similar fast-moving dense objects called neutron stars have been discovered before, and they also are possibly the products of supernovae.

The new observations are detailed in the Nov. 19 issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics. Roberto Mignani of the European Southern Observatory also worked on the study.

The search for wayward black holes will be helped by the recently launched Integral telescope, which will search for the high-energy emissions from the exotic objects.

"We're expecting to find many more black holes," said Mirabel, who also works at the Institute for Astronomy and Space Physics of Argentina. "We'll track their paths in the Milky Way and gain insight into their birthplace and how they formed."
By William One Sac: posted on 19-11-2002

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