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4U1630-47 (Black Hole)


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4U1630-47
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4U1630-47 is a black hole.

4U1630-47 (Black Hole) : Picture

Heavy Black Hole Jets in 4U1630-47
Heavy Black Hole Jets in 4U1630-47
Illustration Credit: NASA, CXC, M. Weiss
What are black hole jets made of? Many black holes in stellar systems are surely surrounded by disks of gas and plasma gravitationally pulled from a close binary star companion. Some of this material, after approaching the black hole, ends up being expelled from the star system in powerful jets emanating from the poles of the spinning black hole. Recent evidence indicates that these jets are composed not only electrons and protons, but also the nuclei of heavy elements such as iron and nickel. The discovery was made in system 4U1630-47 using CSIRO’s Compact Array of radio telescopes in eastern Australia, and the European Space Agency's Earth-orbiting XMM-Newton satellite. The 4U1630-47 star system is depicted above in an artist's illustration, with a large blue star on the right and jets emanating from a black hole in the center of the accretion disc on the left. Although the 4U1630-47 star system is thought to contain only a small black hole -- a few times the mass of our Sun -- the implications of the results may be larger: that black holes of larger sizes might also be emitting jets of massive nuclei into the cosmos.

4U1630-47 (Black Hole)
Black hole with disc and jets
(C) ESA
Artist’s impression of a black hole feasting on matter from its companion star in a binary system. Matter flows from the star towards the black hole and forms an accretion disc with a temperature so high that it emits X-rays. The black hole can be a fussy eater: instead of swallowing all of the material, it sometimes pushes a fraction of it away in the form of two powerful jets of particles.

A team of astronomers studying the jets of the binary system 4U1630-47 have confirmed that black hole jets not only consist of electrons but also contain heavier particles, like protons or atomic nuclei. This means that jets can carry mass and energy away from the black hole in much larger amounts than previously thought.

4U1630-47 4U1630-47 (Black hole)
Heavy Black Hole Jets in 4U1630-47
(C) NASA, CXC, M. Weiss
Black hole with disc and jets
(C) ESA
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4U1630-47 (Black Hole) : Movie

The Truth and Lies about Black Holes
Black holes have a bad reputation. After all, something that could swallow you completely sounds pretty scary. They're invisible, so maybe there's one just around the corner and we dont know it! Also, arent they enormous vacuum cleaners capable of destroying anything that gets near them? Once the black hole starts pulling on something, isnt that just a one-way ticket to oblivion? Well, not all of these things are exactly true.
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