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'Fastest-Ever' Star Orbits Black Hole At 2 Million MPH


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#1 Crisp

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:29

'Fastest-Ever' Star Orbits Black Hole At 2 Million MPH

Astronomers have found an astonishing star and black hole in deep space which orbit each other every 2 hours.

Known as a black hole X-ray binary system, the pair share a common centre of gravity and rotate around it with remarkable speed.

The star in the system flies around the black hole at more than two million kilometres per hour - 20 times faster than the Earth moves around the Sun.

The total orbit lasts just 2.4 hours, which smashes the previous record by more than an hour, according to Universe Today.

The black hole is called MAXI J1659-152, and is at least three times as massive as our sun. Its companion star, located about a million kilometers away, has less than a fifth the mass of our own.

The binary system was discovered by NASA's Swift space telescope in 2010, but new observations have allowed more detailed analysis of its nature.




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I realise the title says MPH, but the article says KPH... I'm not going to edit something someone else has written.


#2 webeagle12

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:37

damn.... :s

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#3 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:50

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#4 spacer

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 15:38

That is a crazy speed. I wonder what it would feel like...

#5 Detection

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 15:41

Light travels at 671 million MPH according to wikipedia

#6 Torolol

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 15:46

so how long until the star materals are completely absorbed by the hole ?

#7 DocM

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 20:03

Depends on the masses of the star. & black hole, the distance between them and the stars type & composition, Some of these pairs, like Cygnus X-1, continue for millions of years. I doubt this one will last anywhere near that long

#8 Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 20:07

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#9 Growled

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:56

Wow, the universe is even stranger than we could ever had imagined.