Latest in Science

Image credit:

Two black holes are defying the limits of science

They're chewing up companion stars faster than physics would normally allow.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
May 2, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

FAECIASP/NASA/Conicet of Argentina/Getty Images

Even astrophysicists are occasionally surprised at what they find in the cosmos. University of Cambridge researchers have discovered that two black holes are consuming their companion stars at rates much faster than currently established limits would allow -- so fast, in fact, that the gas is ejecting at a quarter of the speed of light. To top things off, this is the first time that scientists have seen winds flowing away from ultra-luminous (and currently mysterious) X-ray sources.

So, what's behind the behavior around these black holes? The team doesn't have any firm answers, but it notes that what we see might be the result of less-than-straightforward phenomena. Those X-ray sources might be fed through discs inflated by intense pressures from the material going through it, making them look brighter than they really are. While physicists aren't rewriting textbooks just yet, it's evident that humanity has some big riddles to solve before it can truly understand space.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

T-Mobile’s TVision is a cable-cutting package for its mobile customers

T-Mobile’s TVision is a cable-cutting package for its mobile customers

View
Starlink testers will pay $99 per month for SpaceX's satellite internet

Starlink testers will pay $99 per month for SpaceX's satellite internet

View
Researchers 3D-printed a cell-sized tugboat

Researchers 3D-printed a cell-sized tugboat

View
This is Harley-Davidson's first electric bicycle

This is Harley-Davidson's first electric bicycle

View
PlayStation 5 first look: At home with Sony’s new console

PlayStation 5 first look: At home with Sony’s new console

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr