Confirmation of Einstein's exciting predictions about black holes Confirmation of Einstein's exciting predictions about black holes

Confirmation of Einstein's exciting predictions about black holes

Confirmation of Einstein's exciting predictions about black holes
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A new research paper has revealed the detailed mechanism of how matter falls into a black hole from outside the event horizon.

Einstein's theory of gravity predicted that matter stops rotating around the black hole at a specific point, falls directly into it, and quickly rushes beyond the point of no return.

Now, X-ray data (from the NuSTAR and NICER instruments) of an active black hole has revealed evidence of this “diving zone.”

"Einstein's theory predicted that there would be this ultimate fall, but this is the first time we've been able to prove that it happened," says theoretical physicist Andrew Mummery, of the University of Oxford in the UK. "We thought of it like a river turning into a waterfall (until now, we've been "We look at the river, and this is our first view of the waterfall."

The research team explained that the matter does not follow a straight line when it makes its way towards the black hole, but rather revolves around it, like water moving in a circular manner towards the drain. Scientists have long used swirling water to study the environments surrounding black holes.

The research team developed simulations and numerical models that visualize the “diving zone” to reveal the type of light it emits, based on the black hole in a system about 10,000 light-years away, called MAXI J1820+070, and its binary companion star.

The team found that the glow originates from within the stable circular orbit region (between the star and the black hole), consistent with the emission they observed in the simulations.

Scientists say that this finally confirms the existence of the “diving zone”, without a doubt, which gives us new evidence of the intense gravitational system in the region directly outside the black hole’s event horizon.

“We believe this represents an exciting new development in the study of black holes, allowing us to study the final region surrounding them,” says Mummery.

The paper was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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